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2017 Bombers Season Preview

Bryan/College Station, Texas - The Brazos Valley Bombers are now less than 48 hours away from their season opener, but their quest for a fifth-straight TCL title has been in full-effect for some time now. Despite the recent tradition and success that the Bombers have enjoyed over the past half-decade, it is a new era for the organization. With a new Head Coach, a rejuvenated Nutrabolt Stadium, and a fresh crop of new talent, the target on the back of the Bombers has not changed, nor have the expectations.

With so much "new" surrounding the organization, there are a few places we could get the season preview started, so let’s start with the new manager, shall we? Trey Porras is returning home to an organization he played with in the summer of 2011, and one where he still owns the single-season hit record for as well. Porras, who has been a Grad Assistant at Texas A&M Corpus Christi for the past 3 seasons, has been the manager for the Hoptown Hoppers out of the Ohio Valley League where he led them to a 33-9 record and a league championship last summer. Porras brings a young flavor and the ability to not only relate to a group of men, but also the presence of mind to put together a talent filled roster and lead them on and off the field.

So about that young talent…This year is no different for the Bombers when it comes to a roster, that on paper, could intimidate any other roster that calls the TCL home. With players from power schools such as hometown Texas A&M, Arkansas, Texas, Baylor, SDSU, Houston, New Mexico, Oklahoma State, and Washington State, there is no lack of raw talent on the 2017 Bombers.

But where the most impressive work that Porras has been able to do with the roster, comes from the JuCo and lower divisions of college baseball. The JuCo (and soon to be D1 transfer) duo of middle infielders will be a rock in the middle of a stacked lineup. Allonte Wingate, the former Houston Cougar is coming off a stellar season at Cisco JC where he posted a .350 AVG with 45 RBIs and 51 runs scored. Wingate almost certainly will be the everyday shortstop for Porras, but can play anywhere in the field because of his polished fundamentals and Francisco Lindor type athleticism.

Across from him stands the offensive leader in the JuCo ranks, Michael Helman, who racked up a mind-boggling .487 AVG (no, it’s not a typo) with 73 RBIs and 103 runs scored while at Hutchinson CC. This summer gives Helman a perfect platform to introduce his skillset to the Texas A&M fans in the area before he becomes an Aggie officially in the fall, as well as get used to the winning expectation that this area has for their baseball teams.

Along with high expectations come big crowds. Big crowds, need big stadiums. Big stadiums need to be taken care of, and that is exactly what the Bombers along with the City of Bryan have put together $1.8 million of fresh new renovations to their good ole’ Nutrabolt Stadium. The pearl of Brazos Valley baseball history received a new all-turf playing surface along with upgrades to the stands, concourses, party decks, scoreboard, and more to accommodate the coming crowds this season. But they will also be sharing their home with the newly established Brazos Valley Cavalry FC. The PDL affiliate of the Houston Dynamo.

As always, there is a lot to look forward to for Bomber’s fans. Whether it is a nice cold-one with your family at the ballpark, or the fireworks show at the end of a long work-week, be assured that the action on the field won’t let you down either.

And as I check my watch once more…how long is it until first pitch again?...


-Kyle Youmans

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