The Texas Collegiate League is known for preparing the elite prospects in college baseball for a big league journey. Every season there is immense talent throughout the league and this summer was no different.
Player of the Year Chris Richburg (Texas Tech) was consistently dangerous at the plate throughout the 2007 summer posting some of the league’s top overall numbers. Looking at the league leaders, Richburg’s name is plastered on almost every category as he finished out the season leading the league with 44 hits, 15 doubles, 5 triples, 33 RBI and a .591 slugging percentage. The Red Raider outfielder also ranked in the top five in batting average (.346), on-base percentage (.436) and runs scored (25). Richburg was named Player of the Month during his torrid July hitting .403 with 10 doubles, three triples, and 22 RBI. The Lubbock, TX native led the Roughnecks to the Rogers Hornsby division top seed for their second consecutive playoff appearance (third overall).
Pitcher of the Year Justin Murray (Kansas State ) proved to be nearly unhitable tallying a 5-2 record with a miniscule 0.54 ERA only giving up three earned runs all summer. The Wildcat hurler was dominant striking out 48 and allowing only eight walks in 50 innings of work. Murray led the TCL in ERA, wins (tied with three others), third in innings pitched and fourth in strikeouts. TCL’s June Pitcher of the Month led the Marshals to their second consecutive division title and trip to the TCL championship series. Murray becomes the second Marshal to be named Pitcher of the Year with Austin Creps being honored in 2005.
Freshman of the Year Casey Whitmer (Texas) led the Bombers to the playoffs in their inaugural season as the ace of the staff. The Kilgore, TX native led the league with 51 strikeouts, posted a remarkable 1.57 ERA and held opponents to a .163 average. He was named the starting pitcher for the Speaker division in the All-Star Game and at that time had 19 more strikeouts than the next closest pitcher. Whitmer, who attended Florida State in the spring, will head to Austin to pitch for the Longhorns for the 2008 season.
The head coaches throughout the TCL elected Johnny Cardenas as 2007 Coach of the Year in voting conducted at the end of the regular season. Cardenas guided the Roughnecks to a first place finish in the Hornsby division registering a 25-18 overall record earning their second consecutive playoff appearance (third overall). Wichita Falls was an offensive machine leading the league in hitting (.270 -tie), doubles (68), triples (12) and second in RBI (199). The Roughnecks offense was led by Player of the Year Chris Richburg and TCL batting champion John Dao, who finished out the season with a .365 average. In Cardenas ’ second season, he boosted the Roughnecks’ winning percentage to .581, which was 143 points better than the previous season.
2007 Texas Collegiate League All-League Team:
C – Heath Pugh, Denton (S am Houston State)
.295, 9 2B, 23 RBI
INF – Matt Curry, Coppell (Howard JC)
.280, 7 HR, 25 RBI, .512 slg
INF – John Dao, Wichita Falls (NE Texas CC)
.365, 10 2B, 16 RBI, .519 slg
INF – Tyler Ladendorf, Denton (Howard JC)
.295, 10 2B, 15 RBI, 18 SB
INF – Jason Seefeld, Wichita Falls (T exas Tech)
.306, 4 HR, 23 RBI, 6 2B
OF – Chris Richburg, Wichita Falls (Texas Tech)
.346, 15 2B, 5 3B, 33 RBI, .591 slg
OF – Bo Coffman, Mineral Wells (Grayson CC)
.312, 4 HR, 24 RBI, 9 2B
OF – Joey Butler, Weatherford (New Orleans)
.347, 7 2B, 20 RBI, 15 SB
DH – Brandon Belt, Coppell (San Jacinto JC, Texas)
.333, 4 HR, 22 RBI, 7 2B, .581 slg
RHP – Justin Murray, McKinney (Kansas State )
5-2, 0.54 ERA, 48 SO
LHP – Jon Kibler, Weatherford (Michigan State)
5-0, 1.36, 29 SO, .154 opp
Reliever – Tyler Davis, Brazos Valley (McNeese State)
2-1, 1.72, 6 SV, 31 SO
Player of the Year – Chris Richburg, Wichita Falls (Texas Tech)
Pitcher of the Year – Justin Murray, McKinney (Kansas State)
Freshman of the Year – Casey Whitmer, Brazos Valley (Texas)
Coach of the Year – Johnny Cardenas, Wichita Falls
Texas Collegiate League