With the program on solid ground, fifth-year Texas College head coach Freddy Rodriguez envisions the Steers being even more sound in 2012.
Expected to be balanced hitting and pitching, the Steers see a winning season as a realistic goal.
Texas College broke even in last year’s 27-27 campaign. TC won only 29 games in Rodriguez’ first three seasons combined and finished 15-34 in 2010 before sunlight broke through last year.
The Steers stake their high hopes on three key returnees, including a first-team All-Red River Athletic Conference player in Agustin Enriquez (Jr., SS, Lufkin). The pitching staff features Chris Blackmon (Sr., RHP, Forney) and David Kipp (Jr., RHP, Harker Heights), both second-team performers a year ago.
Enriquez led the team in batting average (.408), runs scored (50), hits (80), total bases (120) and walks (22) a year ago.
Blackmon topped all Steers last year in wins (five), complete games (five), innings pitched (82) and strikeouts (78).
Kipp, which gives TC a second ace, limited batters to a .218 average.
As a team, TC batted .309 last year while holding the opposition to .281.
The Steers start the season with a weekend home doubleheader today against the University of Science and Arts. Rains earlier in the week pushed the opener back a day.
TC plays all of February away with the exception of one series against Northwood. The Steers end the season with 11 games at home.
The Steers qualified for the conference tournament last year as the sixth seed before going 0-2 in the event.
TC hopes to not only finish with a winning record, but notch its first-ever victory in the postseason tournament.
Rodriguez considers the Steers capable of “winning 30 games.”
After preparing all fall, it’s time for the Steers to play ball.