ON THE FIELD By Brandon C. Williams
Today, Wednesday: Season ticket holders for Dickinson high school football can start picking up their 2017 packages at the school’s ticket office today from 9:00am thru 3:00pm. Opportunities to pick them up will also be available on Thursday from 1:00pm thru 6:00pm and also on Friday from 9:00am to noon. The Gators’ first home game will be on September 8 against George Ranch beginning at 7:00pm.
The Astros host Tampa Bay Rays in the third of a four-game series at Minute Maid Park beginning at 7:10pm. Rookie Austin Pruitt will get the chance to pitch in front of family and friends as the former hurler from The Woodlands takes his 5-2 record and 6.63 ERA to the mound against Dallas Keuchel, who is 9-0 with a 1.94 ERA. Keuchel lasted just three innings this past Friday at Detroit Tigers in what was his first start since coming off the disabled list. AT&T Sportsnet will air the game live starting at 7:00pm.
Tomorrow, Thursday: There is time to register for the upcoming Gators Football Camp, which will be held from August 7-10 at Sam Vitanza Stadium for incoming seventh thru tenth grade players. The camp, which runs from 4:30pm to 7:00pm, will focus on teaching leadership qualities, working on the fundamentals of the game and non-contact drills. Price for the camp is $20, and campers will need to bring football cleats and wear loose, non-binding clothes. More information can be discovered by contacting athletic secretary Laurie Delesandri at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 281-229-6410.
Houston concludes its series against Tampa Bay at 7:10pm when Collin McHugh seeks his first decision of the season in what will be his third start. McHugh struck out seven over six innings at Detroit this past Saturday but did not get the decision in what became a 5-3 loss to the Tigers. The Rays counter with rookie Blake Snell, who is 0-6 with a 4.87 ERA. Snell has shown promise, yet the one-time top prospect has not gotten past the sixth inning in but one of his 13 starts this season. AT&T Sportsnet brings the game live starting at 7:00pm.
Friday: Friendswood high school football fans can take advantage of the day by purchasing their 2017 season ticket package. The Mustangs, who advanced to the class 6a, region III, division II quarterfinals last season, will open the home portion of the regular season on September 15 when they host Kingwood at Henry Winston Stadium. Coach Robert Koopman’s squad will also welcome Dickinson on September 29 in the district 24-6a opener for both teams. The season ticket package is $48 and can be purchased online at friendswoodfootball.org.
Area volleyball teams will hold scrimmages as the regular season begins next Tuesday. The contests will give coaches an opportunity to discover hidden gems while also bolstering the skills of returning talents.
The Astros host Toronto Blue Jays beginning at 7:10. Lance McCullers, who was shelled throughout the month of July, gets the start against a pitcher the Jays will decide upon, as Monday’s trade deadline could find Francisco Liriano, who is originally scheduled to take the mound for Toronto, was the subject of trade rumors, including the Astros, who were seeking to add him to their bullpen. Liriano or not, AT&T Sportsnet will have the broadcast starting at 7:00pm.
Saturday: Charlie Morton takes the mound for the Astros seeking to improve his 8-4 record and 3.83 ERA as he faces Blue Jays hurler Cesar Valdez, who earned his first big league win since 2010 in his last start against Oakland Athletics on July 25. Valdez is 2-2 with a 6.59 ERA and will be making just his sixth start of his career. Gametime is at 6:10pm with AT&T Sportsnet beginning its broadcast at 6:00pm.