BRYAN, Texas — James Dillard knows how to manage a baseball team. He's the head man on the Bryan Vikings baseball staff, but this summer will be his first shot at leading the Bombers to a Texas Collegiate League title.
Dillard was promoted to the manger position after Brian Nelson was promoted to the TCL Commissioner's chair.
As a whole, the TCL will look different in 2020. There are now 10 teams competing for the title, the most in league history, and the rosters are more talented than ever. A handful of high major players who planned on playing in other summer leagues are now participating in the TCL because their original plans were cancelled. Texas A&M's Logan Sartori is an example of this. The infielder had planned on playing in the Cape Cod League this summer, but when that was shut down due to the Covid-19 pandemic, he made the decision to return to the Bombers for a second season.
Dillard says the new league setup will present new challenges, but he's ready to face them head on.
"You want to make sure you're doing right by the kid and the school," he says. "Number three is the combination on the field has to have a shot at winning. With all these guys, any combo we put out there will give us a chance to win like the Bombers have done."
Brazos Valley has won seven of the last eight TCL Championships, including the 2019 title.
The Bombers start their championship defense on June 30 at home against the Round Rock Hairy Men.