8/3 Notes and News From Around the Texas Collegiate League
Editor's note: College Baseball Nation is joined by guest writer, Riley Zayas, for coverage of the Texas Collegiate League. Riley Zayas is a high school freshman and freelance journalist from Round Rock, Texas. He began his journalism career as a Sports Illustrated Kid reporter and has since become a regular contributor to Horns Illustrated, covering Texas Longhorn sports. His work also includes Fellowship of Christian Athletes publications, his personal blog 360 Sports, and Sports Spectrum, a national christian sports magazine and website. He is passionate about all things sports and can be followed on Twitter at @ZayasRiley.
Weyler wins TCL Batting Title
Kelby Weyler came from behind to clinch the TCL Batting Title on the final night of the season. With just three points more than Round Rock’s Ryan Hernandez, the Lamar infielder hit .367 on the season, with 36 hits and 18 runs scored. It was a fitting end to the season, as Weyler’s impressive .367 average is now tied for fourth in league history. The shortened season certainly helped to keep his average high, but the amount of great arms in the league increased dramatically this season.
Frisco Ruled ineligible for postseason
In a frustrating decision made by league administrators on Saturday, the Frisco Roughriders were declared ineligible for the postseason. The ruling was made after 13 of Frisco’s games were either cancelled or forfeited this summer. Several of those forfeits were during the multiple instances in which the team had a member of the front office tested positive for Covid-19. That caused Frisco to play the majority of its season without fans at Dr. Pepper Ballpark. Despite these challenges, the Roughriders were a talented team, and finished their inaugural TCL campaign with an 11 game win streak.
Without this ruling, the Roughriders would have been the North’s second team in the playoffs. Instead, Tulsa will take that spot.
Frisco becomes the league’s second team to end its season prematurely here in 2020. Also on Saturday, the Round Rock Hairy Men made the tough decision to cancel the rest of its season after at least two players tested positive.
Hitter of the Week: Isaiah Ortega-Jones, Texas State, Frisco
The outfielder led the way in Frisco’s five wins this week, hitting two home runs to go along with 10 runs scored and five RBI. It was a breakout performance for the Texas State Bobcat, who raised his batting average from .255 to .314 over the course of the week.
Pitcher of the Week: Marcelo Perez, TCU, San Antonio
Perez was solid in his lone start for the Flying Chanclas, picking up his first win of the season over the Amarillo Sod Squad Wednesday. Through six innings of work, he shutout the potent Sod Squad offense, allowing four hits and two walks while striking out eight. His ERA has been near-perfect all season long, and was lowered to 0.44 thanks to a great performance on the mound. He looks to be a key factor as San Antonio battled Brazos Valley for the South division title this week.
Amarillo Sod Squad, 21-9- Riding a three game win streak, the Sod Squad is undoubtedly the league’s top team. Having fought for first place in the North division, the Sod Squad head into the playoffs with the best record in the league, and momentum on their side.
Brazos Valley Bombers, 19-11- The Bombers have been consistent all season, even in the ultra-competitive South division. That has panned out, as the decision by the Round Rock Hairy Men to back out of the season after positive Covid-19 tests, put Brazos Valley in first place in the South, with home field advantage in the playoffs.
Tulsa Drillers, 17-13- The Drillers did not reach the goals they had set out to achieve, especially with a stacked roster, but find themselves with a chance to win the title despite finishing the season in third place. That comes after Frisco was declared ineligible for the postseason as a result of multiple forfeits on the season. That is a positive for the squad led by former Texas pitching coach Greg Holliday, who has kept Tulsa in the hunt throughout the season.
San Antonio Flying Chanclas, 16-12- The Flying Chanclas are in a similar situation to Tulsa in the sense that they finished third in the South yet still made the playoffs with the decision by Round Rock. San Antonio has been solid at the plate, batting .249 on the season.
Round Rock Hairy Men 16-13- While the final three games of the season were cancelled, nothing can take away from the poise and dominance Round Rock showed in the three game sweep of Brazos Valley earlier in the week. With those three key wins, the Hairy Men vaulted into first place in the South, and needed only one victory in the weekend series against San Antonio to make the playoffs. After multiple players tested positive for Covid-19, though, the team made the decision to cancel the rest of its inaugural campaign.
Frisco Roughriders, 16-11- If there is a way to go out, it is with a five game win streak like Frisco did. While the squad did not make the playoffs, Frisco had a successful season, despite having to battle through positive tests and closing the games to the public. Through all of that, the Riders managed to find a way to finish the season.
Acadiana Cane Cutters, 15-14- Acadiana held its own in a tough division, and simply did not have enough fire power from its bats to contend with the other hard hitting teams in the South. Behind great pitching, the Cane Cutters fought from start to finish, and surprised a lot of opponents along the way.
Amarillo Sod Dogs, 15-15- The Sod Dogs collapsed in the last week of the season, and seemed to have lost all the momentum built up throughout the year when the Sod Squad took control of the North division. Over the final 10 games of the season, the Sod Dogs went 4-6.
Victoria Generals, 9-21- The Generals posted the lowest team batting average in the league (.217) and it affected them throughout the summer. The lack of firepower offensively made it a challenge to contend with many of their power-hitting counterparts in the South and played a role in the 9-21 record.
Texarkana Twins, 4-26- The Twins never could find a way to get over the hump. The 4-26 record says it all. Texarkana fought hard but ended up on the losing end more often than not.
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