Last week it was revealed that the Midland Rockhounds would be hosting the 2020 High School Senior Series at Momentum Bank Ballpark.
The weekend of four teams competing against each other is supposed to be a way to bring a sense of normal back to our everyday lives while also giving recent high school graduates who were unable to finish out their playing careers on their own terms one last chance to take the diamond.
Yes, some of the players participating in the Senior Series will be going on to play baseball at the collegiate level. However, the majority of these players are just looking to take the field so that they can play the game that they have grown to love so much.
“The main thing is to just get out on that field one last time and be able to finish strong,” Big Spring and Dingers coach Daniel Carrillo said.
Carrillo will be the coach of the Dingers and will have one Steer, Timmy Banks, on his 14-man roster. Gaige Hill from Coahoma will also be a player on Carrillo’s team and that will create a very talented Howard County ballplayer duo for Carrillo’s team on the diamond next weekend.
“I just told him not to wear that Coahoma red,” Carrillo said jokingly.
The Big Spring Skipper also has a pair of Seminole Indians as well as a pair of Permian Panthers to move around on the field.
The other two Big Spring Steers who are participating in the Senior Series will also be split up onto different squads. Tristan Wright will be a member of the Frozen Ropes while Joshua Wood will be playing for the Velocity.
Other Howard County recent graduates that will be playing next weekend are Coahoma’s Avry Burgans (Frozen Ropes), Jon Schneider and Zack Schneider (Aces), and Taylor Barnes (Velocity).
There is plenty of talent spread throughout all of the rosters and some of the players have committed to continuing their baseball careers in college.
Three of Carrillo’s players will be playing at the next level. Trace Blue, a talented pitcher that went to Midland Christian, will be taking his talents to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi next year. The second player is Isaiah Flores from Permian. He plays mostly in the infield and will be playing for Odessa College in the future. Finally, Logan Thompson from Midland Lee will be moving onto play at Westminster, which is a Division III program in Missouri.
One thing can be assured: Carrillo is pumped up to be coaching a talented group of players such as the one he will lead into the Ballpark next weekend.
“It’s an All-Star game so there are going to be some situations where kids may have to play out of position,” Carrillo said. “I don’t know every kid but I know most of them. Fortunately, Timmy is on my team. I didn’t have a chance to get the other two but I got at least one so it’s going to be good.”
Each team was randomly selected and was made to be as evenly-matched as possible. Most of the consideration went into not taking too many players who all played the same position. The coaches also wanted to take into consideration that each team had enough pitching to be productive over the two-day tournament.
Carrillo will have one practice with his team next Wedneday, July 22, at 6:00 p.m. at D-BAT Permian Basin in Odessa.
That will be the first time that Carrillo will get to meet a large part of his roster. After months without leading a team onto the field to play the game he loves, Carrillo will now return to his coaching role with a team that he is very impressed with on paper.
“I’m really excited,” Carrillo said. “I honestly do feel like I have the best team. Now, we’ll find that out. But I think I do.”
With the upcoming weekend full of baseball, the Midland Rockhounds have given the Permian Basin community a sporting event to look forward to. After months of a world without sports, these talented ballplayers will get one last chance to take to the diamond and impress the fans around West Texas.
Each team will play three games in a two-day, round-robin format.
Social distancing will be enforced and fans are required to wear a face mask at all times except while sitting in their seats. Tickets will be $8 per session or $20 for the weekend for adults, and $5 per session or $12 for the weekend for kids and students.
Next weekend’s schedule:
Friday: Frozen Ropes vs. Dingers (6:00)
Aces vs. Velocity (8:30)
Saturday: Velocity vs. Frozen Ropes (9:00)
Dingers vs. Aces (11:30)
Dingers vs. Velocity (6:00)
Frozen Ropes vs. Aces (8:30)
Shawn Moran is the sports writer at the Big Spring Herald. To contact him, e-mail email@example.com or call 432-263-7331.