Baseball: Collegians out for berth in NBC World Series
The Katy Collegians, a summer baseball team primarily made up of area high school products, is seeking its third straight trip to the National Baseball Congress World Series next month in Kansas.
The Collegians have two weeks left in their regular season in the Centex Collegiate Baseball League, with one more doubleheader at 1 p.m. on July 9 at Cinco Ranch, before the playoffs begin.
"Until you come out and watch these kids play you won't really respect their ability," Collegians coach Jerry Miller said.
"We've got some kids who are No. 1 pro prospects."
Miller, who's the varsity softball coach at Cinco Ranch, has been coaching baseball for 31 years.
Former Texas A&M coach Tom Chandler gave him his start in the early 1980s leading the Aggies' summer-league team, the College Station Cardinals. He went on to coach in Baltimore's system.
Miller's been coaching the Collegians for three years now.
"We started it because we had a lot of kids out in this area who didn't have places to play summer ball, so they'd go play college ball and they'd come home and sit around all summer," Miller said.
The club features Katy ISD products like Kyle Henry (Cinco Ranch, Rose State College), who's headed to SFA next spring, Kyle Bacak (Seven Lakes, Houston) and Matt Warren (Cinco Ranch, Houston Baptist).
It also includes Kempner graduates Chance Williams (UT-Tyler) and Markus Carr (Blinn College), Fort Bend Austin's Anthony DeJesus, La Porte's Ryan Williams (Texas A&M) and Needville's Corey Hail (HBU).
This year, the team's even expanded beyond the city and state through Henry's connection with Rose State College, bringing in three players from Oklahoma and one from Arizona.
With a 12-3-1 record entering this week, the Collegians were leading the Centex League.
They're in Austin for four games this weekend before returning home for the final weekend next Saturday.
Then it's off to the NBC Southwest Regional July 14-17 at the Seguin Fairgrounds in Seguin. If the Collegians win their league or the regional tourney, they automatically qualify for the national tourney.
The NBC World Series is set for July 30 at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium in Wichita, Kan.
The Collegians' first team to make the national tournament featured right-handed pitcher Cliff Archibald, who played at Katy Taylor and McLennan Community College, then was drafted by Pittsburgh.
Now Archibald is playing in the Pirates' farm system in Pennsylvania.
"That's a little bit of a success story for our ballclub considering we're playing some teams in Wichita who have been around for 30 and 40 years," Miller said.
The next big success story for the Collegians could by Carr.
"He's a five-tool guy — he can hit, hit with power, he can run like the wind, he has a great arm and he can catch anything in center field," Miller said.
"He's a pro prospect."
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