Bombers' Mascot KaBoom

Week one in the Texas Collegiate League brought numerous storylines from attendance records to hitting streaks to mascots getting stuck in helicopters.  Fans across the state are becoming aware of the league’s family entertainment and quality of talent on the field.  During the first 7 days of play in the 2007 season, the TCL has witnessed a 60% increase in attendance over the first 7 days of play of the 2006 season.  In Brazos Valley ’s first ever game in Bryan, TX , the Bombers filled the stadium with a TCL record 1,471 fans eager to have a great summer baseball experience. 

Brazos Valley opened its inaugural season home schedule with a 4-1 victory over the Duncanville Deputies in a game attended by a Texas Collegiate League record 1,471 fans. The previous record was 1,438 by the McKinney Marshal last season.  

The community also responded well during the Roughnecks first ever game in Wichita Falls .  A crowd of 925 scattered across the grandstands to see a Roughneck victory.

Coppell with a Vengeance
The Copperheads came into 2007 with revenge on their minds.  After an early boot in the 2006 playoffs when McKinney swept them in the first round, Coppell has been on a tear early in the ‘07 season standing as the lone remaining undefeated team in the league.  The Copperheads are led by their bats who cumulatively lead the league in average, home runs and RBI with OF Roger Kieschnick (Texas Tech) as the individual leader with a .529 average with a home runs and four RBI. 

Roughnecks pitcher has them Chasing
Wichita Falls ’ own Chase Anderson (NCTC) came up big in his first start of the year in front of his hometown crowd.  In his three innings, every out he recorded was a strikeout.  Anderson left the game with nine K’s and he followed up in his next start with four strikeouts in four innings to stay as the league’s strikeout leader with 13.  

Wrangler RBI Machine
Trey Crain (Rice) has been producing for Weatherford at the most opportune times.  Crain has been very effective with runners in scoring position and leads the league knocking in nine RBI on the season.  The Rice freshman, who was sent to the TCL early due to his red-shirt status, can only cheer and watch his college teammates as the head to Rosenblatt Stadium to compete for a National Championship.

Kieschnick, McCain Receive Week One Honors
The Texas Collegiate League has announced Coppell outfielder Roger Kieschnick (Texas Tech) as the D-Bat Player of the Week and McKinney pitcher Mark McCain ( Richland College ) as D-Bat Pitcher of the Week for the June 5-10 games.

Kieschnick (6-3, 210, Soph.) led the Copperheads to a 3-0 record hammering a .571 average (8-for-14) with a homerun, three RBI, and two stolen bases. The Rockwall, Texas native has a hit in all three games this season with a 4-for-4 effort against the LoneStars.

The Red Raider outfielder earned Big 12 second team honors after posting five triples, 25 doubles, 13 home runs and a .302 batting average. His 25 doubles on the year gave him a tie with Brandon Toro (1997) for fourth place on the school's single-season doubles list.  Kieschnick also was named to the American Baseball Coaches Association All-Midwest Region Second-Team for his efforts during the 2007 baseball season.

McCain (6-3, 185, Soph.) was impressive in his 10 1/3 innings posting 2-0 record with a 0.89 ERA and 12 strikeouts. After two outstanding relief appearances, McCain earned his first start against the Deputies on Sunday and threw 6 1/3 innings giving up only four hits and one earned run.

At Richland College , McCain tallied 39 1/3 innings and posted a 3-1 record with 36 strikeouts.

There are a multitude of players that have participated in the TCL and sometimes names announced during the MLB draft might slip through our fingers.  David Miller (Stephan F. Austin) and Colt Hynes (Texas Tech) were two alumni that we didn’t note as getting drafted.  Adding them now brings our count of TCL alumni draft to 72. 

Miller played for Graham in 2004 and was a part of McKinney 's championship team last summer. He was selected by the Houston Astros in the 32nd round. Hynes, who has ties to the Weatherford Wranglers, was taken in the 31st round by San Diego .

That brings the three-year total of draftees who have signed with professional organizations to 160 (previously 88).  Comparing to the Northwoods League, they had only 45 alumni playing professional baseball after their first four seasons beginning in 1994.

This year’s banner haul of outstanding TCL talent is indicative of the progress of the league, which has attracted over 250 of the nation’s top collegians in each season.

Some of the players to note from the draft are TCL single season strikeout king Jess Todd (Coppell Copperheads '06) from Arkansas, who was the first TCL alum chosen as St. Louis picked him as the 82nd pick in the 2nd round.  Rice shortstop Brian Friday (Duncanville Deputies '06) followed Todd as the 98th pick by the Pittsburgh Pirates.  The other TCL players snagged in the first day were Mercer pitcher Cory Gearrin (Mineral Wells '05) by the Atlanta Braves with the 138th pick and Texas A&M infielder Blake Stouffer (Mineral Wells '05) by the Cincinnati Reds with the 139th pick, Texas Christian pitcher Jake Arrieta (McKinney Marshals '05) by the Baltimore Orioles with the 159th pick, Texas Christian pitcher Chance Corgan (Euless LoneStars '05) by the San Francisco Giants with the 164th pick and Lamar outfielder Collin DeLome (Graham Roughnecks '05, McKinney Marshals '06) by the Houston Astros with the 171st pick.

“The concept of the Texas Collegiate League is great.  I believe it makes sense to have this league in Texas because there are so many kids playing baseball here.  The level of baseball in Texas is exceptional, with so many national programs, that this league is a natural fit.”  Nolan Ryan- Major League Hall of Fame











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