Howard College to honor former baseball standout

Former Howard College baseball star Tyler Collins will be recognized during halftime ceremonies at the men's basketball game v.s Midland College tonight. Collins, an outfielder for the 2010-2011 HC baseball team, will be on hand to officially receive his 2011 National Junior College Athletic Association Division I Baseball Player of the Year award.“We are excited to have Tyler back in town to officially celebrate his achievements as a Hawk baseball player and publicly recognize him for his contributions to his team and this program," said Howard Baseball Coach Britt Smith, who will present the award to his former player.Collins was among the national junior college leaders in several offensive categories in 2011 — he led the nation in home runs (19) and was second in batting average (.488) and runs batted in (82). He also collected a school record 34 doubles and 16 stolen bases.“If there was a player that I would pay to watch play at this level, Tyler would be the one,” Smith said in a 2011 interview. “He is a tremendous baseball player and he will have an opportunity to play this game for a living.”Collins, drafted in the sixth round of the Major League Baseball draft by the Detroit Tigers, recently returned from playing fall baseball in Australia and is making a stop in Big Spring on his way to spring training. Along with Collins' recognition, the Forsan PIP program will be on hand to showcase their basketball skills and provide halftime entertainment.Tonight's games with Midland College will begin with the women's contest at 5:45 p.m., while the men tip off at 7:45 p.m. Both games are are Dorothy Garrett Coliseum.