Frisco hungry for a Texas League title

FRISCO, TX -- Despite running away with the Texas League's first-half title in 2007, the Frisco RoughRiders were swept out of the post-season playoffs at the hands of the San Antonio Missions. Frisco beat writer Todd Kaufmann reports as the 'Riders prepare for another Texas League title chase.

The Frisco RoughRiders have their home opener tonight after a very successful 5-0 road trip in Springfield and Little Rock. Their sixth and last game of the road trip in Little Rock was rained out and will be made up in a double header on Monday starting at 4:30pm CST.

Frisco can feel baseball in the air again. There's the excitement for the players returning to their home ballpark for the first time since the 2007 season. The sentiment among players like Taylor Teagarden, Chris Davis and Matt Harrison is that this team is going to challenge for the Texas League title.

"This team is going to be really good," said Teagarden. "It's got some veterans who have been here for a couple of years but it's also loaded with good young talent. This team has a chance to do some really good things in this league and we're already off to a pretty good start. Our pitching and defense is extremely solid and our hitting is about as deep as you'll see in a Double-A lineup."

First baseman Chris Davis went another direction, giving a lot of credit to the Frisco pitching staff.

"Our guys have gone out and shut out opponents and they've done a great job keeping their bats quiet. It takes a lot of pressure off us as a defense and as a hitter to go out there and produce. This is probably one of the best team that I've ever played on, especially in pro ball."

That race for the Texas League Title continues tonight with the Springfield Cardinals (0-6) in town. Left-hander Matt Harrison will get the start tonight for the RoughRiders. Harrison opened the season against the Cardinals in Springfield last week, going 5 2/3 innings pitched, giving up one run on four hits and striking out six in a 6-3 win.

The Riders started this season with a sour taste in their mouths, one they can't wait to get rid of after getting eliminated from the playoffs by the eventual Texas League Champion San Antonio Missions.

This team is not only as good as they were in 2007, they are better. Matt Harrison said it best when asked about the difference between this team and the 2007 team.

"The run support, defense and the pitching staff as well," said Harrison. "From the starters to the bullpen, you can't ask for a better pitching staff. I've never played on a team that hits the ball as well as this team does."

The RoughRiders have a goal in mind, make no mistake about it, and they intend to follow up on that goal. They want to be the Texas League Champions, and that race continues tonight.

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