Uri Geva brings energy and positive conversation to the table. Tuesday was no exception as the Texarkana Twins owner introduced Hendrix College pitching coach Brandon Schmidt as the Twins’ 2020 head baseball coach during a press conference hosted by Fox Sports Texarkana’s Bob Delgiorno and the Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant.
Schmidt is currently the pitching coach at Hendrix College in Conway, Ark. He pitched for four years at Little Rock Central High School, two years at Crowder Community College and two with the University of Central Arkansas. He was a member of the UCA team that won a Southland Conference Tournament, and advanced to an NCAA Regional at Mississippi State University.
“The biggest thing coming in next summer is winning a Texas Collegiate League championship after coming so close last summer,” said Schmidt. “We’ve got a lot of guys already signed up, and they’re excited and pumped about winning a championship for Texarkana. A lot of these guys have experience winning a World Series or a championship.”
Several players already signed up by Twins
The names of the future Twins were not released, but Schmidt noted he’s put a lot of emphasis on pitching and speed in the outfield.
“Pitching is my forte’,” said Schmidt. “I’ve got experience to keep our arms ready to go Day 1 until the end of the season. I want to keep those arms as long as possible, knowing in the back of my mind that some colleges will want them shut down. Four of our five players in the outfield have 6.6, 6.7 speed. We’ve also got some power guys. I wanted to find me some players who would go break the league stolen base record. Our guys will be scrappy, and we’ll bring lots of energy to the park.”
Schmidt hinted there will be a local flavor on his roster.
“I already have a good connection with the local schools, including Texas A&M-Texarkana,” said the Texarkana Twins’ new mentor. “We will be bringing in some Texarkana guys. I’ve got family from the Texarkana/Nashville, Ark., area. My uncle coached at Arkansas High. I’ve got a lot of knowledge about this area, and I’m super excited about coming to Texarkana.”
ESPN Texarkana (94.1 FM) will broadcast games
Geva announced that the 2020 season will be a little shorter, ending the last week of July. The same five teams will be in the TCL (Texarkana, Brazos Valley, Victoria, Baton Rouge and Arcadiana). He noted there has been conversation about expansion in 2021 with representatives of New Orleans and San Antonio.
The playoff format remains the same with the top two teams in the first half getting to host a best-of-three series opener. The second half winner and runnerup will also advance to the postseason.
Texarkana’s season opens May 28-29, with a fireworks show on Friday. Geva said tickets for the first home games are available online at texarkanatwins.com. The Twins’ first special will be $20 for a family of four, normally a $60 value according to Geva.
It was also announced that ESPN Texarkana (94.1 FM) will air at least one game every home stand.