Fri. Games Moved Up to 1:00pm
SAGU, Central to play four games
Coaching friendship marks clash of 'big cats'
THIS JUST IN: The scheduled double-header has been moved up to 1:00pm (CST) due to an advancing weather system that has increased thunderstorm chances from 40% to 60% by game time. The DH was set to start at 4:00pm. Increased winds to 14mph and humidity (94% at 11am) as well as light rain in the area led to the decision. Saturday games remain set for a noon first pitch.
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Today's doubleheader between Kansas' Central Christian College and Southwestern Assemblies of God University will pit two pals in opposing dugouts.
SAGU's Jonathan Shockley is in his first season as Head Coach of the Lions. The native of Wichita, Kansas was the coach at Central Christian last year, where Aaron Childress was in his inaugural campaign as an Assistant Coach. Childress was named Shockley's heir when he left McPherson for Waxahachie.
Meeting for the first time on the baseball diamond since 2006, the ‘Big Cats’ will play twice today, starting at 4:00pm, then return on Saturday for a double-dip beginning at high noon.
The managers are close friends, though once the umpire shouts “Play ball!” it will be about competing and winning.
“My approach will be the same as with any other team,” Shockley said this week. “Never underestimate your opponent. Give 100% effort at all times during the entire game. Central will not back down or give up. I promise you, they will fight the entire game.”
“Coach Childress is very people-oriented,” he continued, praising his counterpart. “His ability to recruit and attract baseball players is unparalleled. His passions are a lot like mine. He loves to minister through baseball and see lives changed.”
“He is a coach that demands 100% effort and a “never quit” attitude. I know that Central will fight until the end because of the leadership at Central. Coach Childress is a man of character and integrity and I look forward to a good battle out on the baseball field.”
As for Childress, he spoke of Shockley in the warmest of terms.
"Jon is family. This will be like a Thanksgiving food fight,” he quipped. “I'll throw a turkey leg and he'll throw some gravy. Then we will fall asleep on the couches with our bellies hanging out of our shirts! Ha!"
As for who gets the pumpkin pie, that’ll likely be decided on the diamond this weekend.
Shockley has indicated his starters for the first three games will repeat last week’s order; Nic Morgan (Ft. Worth, Tx / LeTourneau, Boswell HS) and Jon Savis (Canton, Tx / Canton HS) in Games One and Two.
Saturday will find Mario Mendoza (Ft. Worth, Tx / Grambling St, Polytechnic HS) getting the nod in Game Three, with either Robert Elles (Red Oak, Tx / Tyler JuCo, Red Oak HS) or Zack Worrell (Ft. Worth, Tx / Central Christian, LD Bell HS) on the mound in Game Four.
Morgan, Mendoza, Elles and Worrell are southpaws, Savis (SAHV-iss) a right-hander.
The Tigers will go with a quad squad of righties in Andrew Kroeker (Inman, Ks / Inman HS) and Eric Chronister (Pawhuska, Ok / Pawhuska HS) today and a pair of local products on Saturday.
Jaime Ramos (Azle, Tx / Azle HS) and Jay Banks (DeSoto, Tx / DeSoto HS) will get the ball in the third and fourth games. Azle is northwest of Fort Worth; DeSoto just 15 minutes north of Waxahachie.
The Tigers have nine Texans on their roster, counting redshirts. Three freshmen hail from DeSoto High School, where they played for coach Kerry Kajihiro and the Class 5A Eagles.
Game One - Friday at 4:00pm
Nic Morgan (SAGU), LHP, 6’3, Sr. -vs- Andrew Kroeker (CCC), RHP, 6’5, Jr
Game Two - Friday at 6:00pm
Jon Savis (SAGU), RHP, 6’1, Soph. -vs- Eric Chronister (CCC), RHP, 6’1, Fr.
Game Three - Saturday at Noon
Mario Mendoza (SAGU), LHP, 5’11, Sr. -vs- Jaime Ramos (CCC), RHP, 6’3, Fr.
Game Four - Saturday at 2:00pm
Robert Elles (SAGU), LHP, 5’11, Fr. or Zack Worrell (SAGU), LHP, 5’7 Soph.
-vs- Jay Banks (CCC), RHP, 6’0, Fr.