TCU Baseball Enters Longhorn Territory; Leaves With 2 Of Austin's Best
When you've advanced to five College World Series since 2010 like TCU baseball has, you attract great talent from all over, including in another national power's backyard. The Horned Frogs left the Metroplex for Central Texas, where The University of Texas at Austin is the located, and sold a pair of local pitchers on their program. One was Georgetown's Braxton Pearson and the other was Lake Travis' Storm Hierholzer. Both have experienced big time success in their high school careers, so Fort Worth fans will welcome them with open arms.
"TCU was the best option for me," said Pearson. "The school and the coaches were just amazing [and] everything I wanted in a college. My coaches at Georgetown always taught me [that] having a good winning history and brotherhood culture was important and that was TCU."
Like Pearson, Hierholzer couldn't pass up the coaching staff that TCU offered.
"What excites me is working with a great coaching staff, who I know will help me improve greatly," said Hierholzer. "The offer came in after the PBR futures game during the summer before my junior year. I felt great because a very high caliber baseball school believed in me."
Both players will rock their purple attire soon, but also know that their senior year performances will go a long way in reaching a goal that their teams fell just short of in 2019.
For Pearson and Georgetown, they're motivated after falling 14-2 to Colleyville Heritage in the 2019 UIL 5A state title game.
"The playoffs last year and the run to the state championship game was the best thing that has ever happened in my career," said Pearson. "My teammates weren't just my teammates. They were my brothers [and] we had the tightest bond. We say second isn't sweet, so we wanna get back to the championship game and win and fight for what's ours."
Lake Travis is another hungry squad because it suffered a tight 6-2 loss to eventual classification state champ Southlake Carroll in the UIL 6A state semifinal.
"We felt every emotion after the loss at Dell Diamond last year, and we have been working very hard during the offseason to not let that happen again," said Hierholzer. "Every win gets us closer and closer back to the state tournament, so we will take it day by day and slowly get back and win it."
As disappointing as the end of last season was, both athletes have proactive plans to finish what they started.
"As a senior, I'm looking forward to being the leader on the team and showing the younger guys what it means to be an Eagle and becoming the best teammate I can be," said Pearson. "I would like to mature in my baseball career and give the Eagles whatever it takes to get back to the Dell Diamond. I'm [also] looking to prove what I got to fill a spot at TCU."
As for Hierholzer, he will lean on his day-to-day work ethic to guide Lake Travis teammates through the campaign.
"I [will] try to do my best to show the new players how things work and teach them to embrace the grind," said Hierholzer. "My goals this year are the same as every year: win a state championship and give my team a chance to win every time I step on the mound."
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