Tech Begins 2014 Baseball Season in Houston

For a second consecutive year, Arkansas Tech University will begin its baseball season by playing four games in a Major League Baseball park.

The Wonder Boys will compete in the Houston Winter Invitational at the home of the Houston Astros, Minute Maid Park, beginning on Saturday, Feb. 1.

Arkansas Tech and the University of Arkansas at Monticello will meet at 10 a.m. Saturday in what will be the first NCAA Division II baseball game of the 2014 season.

The Wonder Boys will go on to face Winona State University on Sunday, Feb. 2, Henderson State University on Monday, Feb. 3, and Tarleton State University on Tuesday, Feb. 4, in further play at the Houston Winter Invitational. First pitch for all three of those games is set for 6 p.m.

Follow live statistics from the Houston Winter Invitational.

Arkansas Tech was 32-21 overall during the 2013 season. The Wonder Boys reached the Great American Conference Tournament, which marked the fourth consecutive season in which they qualified for the baseball postseason. It was the 10th 30-win season in Arkansas Tech baseball history.

Tech was picked in a preseason poll of league head coaches to finish second in the GAC standings during the 2014 season.

Among the returning players for the Wonder Boys are 2013 All-Great American Conference selections Ryan Taylor and Zac Johnson.

Taylor was 10-3 with a 2.53 earned run average last season.

He became just the fifth Arkansas Tech pitcher to win 10 or more games in a single season, joining David Grimes (10 wins in 1987), Kevin Crafton (12 wins in 1995), Teddy Willing (10 wins in 2004) and Josh Floriani (10 wins in 2010). Taylor was second in the GAC in earned run average, fourth in innings pitched (103.0) and fifth in opponents’ batting average (.230).

Johnson hit .315 with a home run and 27 runs batted in during the 2013 campaign. He appeared in and started 50 games.

Dave Dawson is beginning his fifth season as the head baseball coach at Arkansas Tech. His career record with the Wonder Boys is 125-86.

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