Joseph Standley had no idea what to expect when University of the Pacific baseball coach Ryan Garko told him he was being sent to Texarkana for the summer.
The stocky southpaw is returning to the west coast Tuesday, and will have some good stories to tell his college teammates. Standley is the second key pitcher for the Texarkana Twins to be shutdown by his college coach. His most memorable moment in the Texas Collegiate League came Sunday night in a 3-2 win over the Baton Rouge Rougarou.
“Texarkana has definitely been a new experience for me,” said Standley, who threw 4 1/3 innings, while watching his teammates rally for three runs in the bottom of the ninth for the win in his last performance as a Twin. I hadn’t thrown that many innings since high school in Albequerque (N.M.).
“The whole experience in the Texas Collegiate League has been incredible. It’s so different from the west coast with all the pickups and cowboys. Staying with Lucky Andrews here in Texarkana has been incredible. Tonight was pretty impressive. The way it ended was my favorite moment watching everyone run out on the field at the end.”
The long bus rides to Victoria, Lafayette, Baton Rouge and Bryan, Texas, won’t soon be forgotten by Standley.
“Playing at Pacific the bus rides are usually around two hours,” said Standley. “You strike a bond with all the guys on the long bus rides here.”
Twins getting new players with Standley leaving
Texarkana manager Bill Clay was told this past week that Standley would be returning home this week. It was a blow to his team’s chances of finishing the summer strong. Oklahoma University shortstop Shannon Blake is also returning home this week, and the Twins lost their best starter last week in Braydon Credeur of Lamar University.
The good news is the Twins will be getting a couple of new players to replace Standley and Blake. Clay doesn’t know a lot about them, except they had good statistics in college.
“Joe (Standley) has been our number one guy out of the bullpen,” said Clay. “He’s pitched outstanding all summer long, and hadn’t given up an earned run until tonight. We’re going to miss Joe.
“He threw a little more tonight than usual. Joe is usually a one-inning guy, but he just gutted it up. He knew it was his last ball game here, and it was his to finish.”
Standley believes the Twins’ dramatic win over Baton Rouge could propel the team to better results during the ensuing weeks.
“This team is a bunch of grinders,” he said. “We’ve lost some key players, but I believe the new ones will fit right in. I really enjoyed my time in Texarkana.”