TEXARKANA, Texas — They have company.
The Texarkana Twins as part of the Texas Collegiate League will face more opponents during the upcoming season. Five Minor League Baseball affiliated ballparks will host teams.
Returning from a year ago are the Acadiana Cane Cutters, Brazos Valley Bombers, Victoria Generals and the Twins. New this season are the Tulsa Drillers, Frisco Rough Riders, two teams from Amarillo, the San Antonio Missions and the Round Rock Express.
"So many collegiate leagues have shut down across the country due to COVID-19, that we will see some extraordinary talent this season," TCL League President Uri Geva said. "We mapped out our condensed season, but some of these affiliated ballparks reached out to us. It started with one or two teams and grew from there.
"I think it's great for the Twins and great for the league. It's great for baseball and the state of Texas, with also Tulsa out of Oklahoma. A lot of players in the TCL will never make it to Double-A or Triple-A. Players may get drafted. This year, players in the TCL will get to play in Double-A and Triple-A ballparks. How cool is that?"
Former Brazos Valley Bomber player and left-handed pitcher, Asa Lacy, was drafted fourth overall in the 2020 Major League Baseball Draft. Lacy attends Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.
The teams will be divided into two divisions (North and South). The North Division will include Amarillo's two teams, Frisco, Tulsa, and Texarkana while the South Division will include Round Rock, San Antonio, Brazos Valley, Victoria, and Acadiana.
"In having more teams, more players will get more opportunities," Geva said. "I am so excited about the upcoming season. This will give the minor league players some normalcy while decisions are still being made by Major League Baseball.
"We are working on our COVID-19 plan to make sure that our fans are safe. We are working with local officials, and the plan should be released next week. We will not have 100 percent capacity due to the coronavirus. There will still be entertainment and fireworks. It is going to be a fun, fun year. We are all in for the 2020 season."
There are 30 regular-season games, 15 are played in a team's home city and 15 are away. The postseason format will begin with a three-game divisional series played by the top two seeds from each division. The division winners will face off in a winner-take-all championship game for the Gerald Haddock Trophy.
The Tulsa Drillers and Frisco Rough Riders, Double-A rivals, clash in the first game of the TCL season in Oklahoma on June 30.