Bryan/College Station, TX - May 31, 2019 - The Brazos Valley Bombers are traveling to Louisiana for the 2019 season opener against the Acadiana Cane Cutters. With the Bombers poised for another terrific season in the Texas Collegiate League, the players shared their expectations for this summer.
Cole Coker returns to the Brazos Valley for his second summer with the Bombers. For Coker, last season’s early postseason exit is strong motivation.
“I’m looking to win this thing,” said Coker. “Last year, we came up short. And we have a chip on our shoulder, for sure. It ruined the streak, back-to-back-to-back championships, so this year, we’re looking to win it.”
For others, the Bombers present an opportunity to develop relationships with players from across the United States that they otherwise would never have met. The Bombers roster brings together players from colleges across six states and every divisional distinction of NCAA and NJCAA play.
Jacob Padilla, who joins the Bombers from Penn State, is looking forward to getting to work with a whole new roster: “I just want to meet new people, new set of eyes, [new] coaching staff, get anything else new that will hone my craft.”
Padilla’s new teammate and fellow infielder, Chase Kemp, echoed that sentiment.
“Really, I’m just looking to have fun playing baseball with a lot of new guys I’ve never met before,” said Kemp, who just completed his sophomore season with the Lamar University Cardinals.
For most of the team, this summer means the chance to develop their skills and bounce back from injury.
For players like Bryant Shellenbarger, who is transferring from Lincoln Trail Junior College to play for the University of Akron, the Bombers can help him improve before facing DI competition. Shellenbarger said he hopes to hone his abilities at first base and in the outfield before joining the newly revived Akron Zips baseball team.
And while the ultimate goal for the Bombers will be to bring the TCL Championship trophy home to the Brazos Valley this season, many of the players are looking forward to spending their summers enjoying their favorite game with their teammates.
Brian Williams, a Bryan, TX native and pitcher at Prairie View A&M, said, “I just wanna have fun, play the game of baseball that I love, and just compete as much as possible.”