BRYAN -- College baseball season is here! All the hype and excitement stemming from off-season recruitment and fall ball has led up to this moment, as players from all over the country will begin the season this Friday with their eyes on the ultimate goal- playing in the College World Series.
Returning Brazos Valley Bombers first baseman Cliff Vaughn and the #6 ranked Mississippi Runnin’ Rebels open up the season against Liberty this Friday with their sights set on improving upon their 39 win season last year. The Rebels reached the NCAA Tournament for the sixth consecutive time last season and were eventually eliminated in the Regional Championship game by top-ranked Miami. Vaughn, a redshirt freshman, is coming off of a strong season with the Bombers in which he led the team with 10 doubles and knocked in 20 runs.
A trio of Bombers, Tyson Seng, Chad Colbert, and Kennedy Winn, hope to lead Oklahoma to new heights this season. Seng is projected to be the #16 Sooners’ starting second baseman after he hit .284 as a freshman last season and provided a strong showing in fall play. Speedster Chad Colbert also expects to receive ample playing time in the outfield this season, while Winn also expects to be a strong contributor for the Sooners. Oklahoma will open up on Friday with the first of a four game weekend series against Western Illinois.
Returning Bombers Travis Dirk of the University of New Mexico and Jake Liedka of Texas A&M Corpus Christi will battle head-to-head this weekend as Lobos take on the Islanders. After starring at Navarro Junior College, Travis Dirk was a vital cog in the Bombers bullpen last season, as he compiled a 3.06 ERA in 14 games. Liedka, who transferred from Wharton Junior College this season, was a welcome addition to the team as well, accumulating a 3.31 ERA in three starts. Both pitchers expect to make major contributions to their respective teams this upcoming season.
Bombers star shortstop Danny Hernandez of San Jacinto Junior College got an early start to the season January 31 and has quickly shown why he is such highly touted player. While leading his team to a 7-5 record thus far, he has batted .282 and belted two home runs, while knocking in nine runs, which is second on his team.