Former Tigers help Tech club team to World Series

By Zach Tijerina

frenshiptoday.com

Bryan Stubblefield pitches against Iowa during the Red Raiders' opening game at the NCBA World Series. Stubblefield is a 2007 graduate of Frenship High School

Two former Frenship student athletes have taken their skills to the next level when they competed in the National Club Baseball Association World Series last week.

Chance Brinker, a 2005 FHS graduate, and Bryan Stubblefield, a 2007 FHS graduate, helped lead the Texas Tech club baseball team to its most successful season in its existence.

The team finished the season ranked third in out of more than 100 teams, and went undefeated in the Gulf Coast Conference North.

Stubblefield first became part of the team his sophomore year in college and played for three consecutive years. He was a staple of the Red Raiders’ pitching staff this season by leading the team with five wins and posting a 2.10 ERA. He led the team with 41 strikeouts.

Stubblefield played for Frenship and as a senior helped the Tigers reach the regional quarterfinals round of the playoffs.

After high school, he took a year off from baseball to get settled into college, but baseball was never far away.

“I missed it,” Stubblefield said. “I took my freshman year off and decided to try out my sophomore year. It was the best thing I could

Chance Brinker takes a swing against Iowa at the NCBA World Series. Brinker is a 2005 graduate of Frenship High School

have done and it made my college experience. I thought it was going to be a pushover league and just something to have fun at, but it turned out being much more. It is a competitive league and I met some of my best friends.”

Stubblefield’s positive experience helped convince Brinker to try out for the team when the two former Frenship teammates ran into each other at a local gym.

“I was working (at the gym) and I would notice that Bryan always had Tech baseball stuff on and I asked him about it,” Brinker said. “He talked me into trying out.”

Brinker’s bat helped him earn a spot on the roster his last year at Tech. He posted a .386 batting average with four home runs and 20 RBIs with a team-leading 88 at-bats.

It was Brinker’s bat that helped Tech stay alive in the World Series tournament last week.

During the Raiders’ second game of the tournament, trailing 7-5 in the eighth inning to Western Washington, Brinker stepped up to the plate. His teammate Sean Graves was at second and Brinker eventually battled the pitcher to a full count.

“I just wanted to score Sean,” Brinker said. “It’s funny because throughout the season, when Sean was on second base I seemed to always hit him in. When the pitcher threw that last pitch I connected with the ball and just started running. I didn’t know how far the ball went. I knew I got a piece of it, but it didn’t feel as good as it could have so I started running.”

Brinker didn’t have to run far. As he approached second base, he noticed the umpire signaling a home run that tied the game at 7. The Raiders went on to win the game, 8-7.

Texas Tech lost its next game 6-5 to Florida State.

The Red Raiders faced FSU again in the semifinals with Stubblefield on the mound.

Despite a stellar pitching effort, the Raiders were not able to overcome FSU, and lost, 2-1.

“It was bittersweet,” said Stubblefield. “Third place in the league is something we have never done before and it was just an awesome experience. It is something I won’t ever forget.”

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