Brownwood to challenge Azle, Abilene High Thursday in first two games of season

It’s February which means baseball season is now underway for the Brownwood Lions. The scrimmages are in the books, the annual Alumni game took place this past weekend, and now it’s time for the actual season to begin.

First up for the Lions are multiple tournaments that will have them travelling to Weatherford, Glen Rose and Lampasas in consecutive weeks beginning today.

The Lions will face Azle at 3 p.m. and Abilene High at 6 p.m. today in Weatherford.

Following the conclusion of those three tournaments, Brownwood has a short non-district schedule that consists of games against Bangs and Bridgeport. District 5-4A play will begin on Tuesday, March 14 at home against Big Spring.

This will be the Lions first year under new head baseball coach Blandon Hancock, who is excited to see what the future has in store for his new team.

“We’ve got a bunch of good kids that are athletic,” said Hancock. “They’re great kids that just need some baseball direction. I think we are learning about each other as we go and the whole process is going great.”

With it being Hancock’s first season as a Lion, it’s the first time he’s had a chance to see any of his players in action. So far he’s pleased with everything up to this point.

“Obviously you get to see them in practice, but that’s going to be different than games,” Hancock explained. “They have showed me a little bit in our scrimmages, what they can do, and I like what I’ve seen. I know what to expect out of them now and I have a better feeling with how we should progress as the season progresses.

“I’m excited about this team and expect them to continue to get better. I feel like we have a genuine shot to get in the postseason and make a little run.”

The reasoning behind Hancock’s feeling is due to the team’s hitting ability currently, along with the potential of his bullpen.

“I have a couple of theories when it comes to our strong suit as a team,” he said. “Right now, at this point early on, our hitting really stands out. You go through the lineup and spots one through nine are strong. We don’t have a spot in the lineup where a kid can’t hit.

“That’s obviously the strongest part of our game right this second, but I feel like we have another strong spot coming up with pitching. Our hitting will stay consistent, but I think our pitching will come along at the end. It will come on strong once we get in shape and get rolling through everything. I feel very confident about that.”

His confidence is rubbing off on the Lions team as well. Players are soaking in every word Hancock has to say and are beginning to play with a certain amount of swagger that wasn’t previously there.

“Our motto is ‘DDTG’,” said Hancock. “DDTG means ‘Don’t Disrespect The Game’ and we stick with that. I try to teach them the game of baseball and try to tell them that baseball is a game where, if you don’t do exactly what you are supposed to do and play it the right way, it will come back and bite you.

“I try to have them understand that it starts with the simple things. Whether it be running things out and finishing strong or giving everything you got every time you step in between the lines, it all matters. That’s what respecting the game is about. They’re respecting the game and it’s showing.”