BRYAN -- Brazos Valley Bombers fans will be happy to see a pair of returning pitchers this summer. Opposing hitters might not share that same joy.
The Bombers announced today that University of Texas sophomore hurler Casey Whitmer and University of Mississippi junior Garrett Duff will both come back to the Brazos Valley for the 2008 season.
The return of Whitmer, named the TCL’s top prospect by Baseball America last summer, is sure to cause some sleepless nights around the league this summer. As a freshman in 2007, Whitmer led the league with 51 strikeouts and finished fifth with a 1.57 ERA, picking up the TCL’s Freshman of the Year award. He surrendered just 27 hits in almost 47 innings pitched, holding opponents to a paltry .163 average.
Whitmer led the Bombers in innings, strikeouts, ERA, and tied for the team lead in starts (7), despite missing the last several weeks of the season with arm troubles. He picked up TCL Pitcher of the Week honors after registering 14 strikeouts in a June start against the Coppell Copperheads, then one week later was the starting pitcher for the Speaker Division in the TCL All-Star Game.
A transfer from Florida State, Whitmer will toe the rubber this spring for legendary coach Augie Garrido and the Longhorns. As a true freshman on one of the top-ranked teams in the country, he went 1-0 with a 4.40 ERA, notching 22 strikeouts. Whitmer was an all-district performer as a sophomore for A&M Consolidated before finishing his prep career in Kilgore. He blossomed in East Texas, posting a 23-5 record in two years to earn a pair of all-state honors.
Opponents might tremble at the mention of Whitmer, but Duff returns experience and depth to a Bombers pitching staff that last year posted a strong 3.60 team ERA. After recovering from an arm injury that claimed most of his spring and summer, Duff made three appearances in a Bombers uniform in 2007. He posted a 4.91 ERA in 14.2 innings, striking out ten. His first start for Brazos Valley was a late-July gem against the McKinney Marshals in which he allowed just two runs and four hits while pitching into the seventh inning.
A junior transfer out of Richland College, Duff’s versatility impressed the Ole Miss staff. Prior to succumbing to injury last spring, the Katy native went 2-0 with a 3.50 ERA. As a freshman, Duff sported a 6-5 record and 3.50 ERA with 40 strikeouts in nearly 70 innings pitcher.
Season tickets for the Bombers 2008 campaign are currently on sale. Founder’s Club seats, the front row seating that includes in-your-seat-wait service, are available, as are reserved seats in the main grandstand. The team has also created two new season ticket options.
Reserved Plus will offer fans comfortable, contoured seats in the first several rows of the grandstand, while general admission season tickets – with both adult and child/senior/student prices – are the most affordable way to enjoy all the fun of Bombers baseball. Season tickets may be purchased online at bvbombers.com, by phone at (979) 779-PLAY, or by visiting the Bombers offices at 405 Mitchell Street in Bryan.
About the Brazos Valley Bombers:
The Bombers are members of the Texas Collegiate League, one of the nation’s premier summer collegiate circuits. Teams like the Bombers bring minor league baseball-style entertainment to communities throughout the country, giving some of the best college players a chance to further their careers in wood bat leagues in front of Major League scouts. The Bombers 48-game season begins in early June and runs through the beginning of August, followed by the TCL playoffs and a championship series. Season tickets for the 2008 season are now on sale. More information is available by calling the Bombers ticket office at (979) 779-PLAY, visiting the Bombers office in Bryan, or logging on to the Bombers’ official web site at www.bvbombers.com.