With the new high school baseball season comes new leadership for the Harlingen Cardinals.
Head coach JuanRangel replaces Bryan Aughney, who left the program after last season to take over the head coaching vacancy at Our Lady of the LakeUniversity in San Antonio.
The Cardinals are coming off a 2017 season that saw them go 15-10 overall and 9-5 in District 32-6A.
The Cardinals were able to grab the district’s fourth playoff seed, but were unfortunately knocked out in the first round by Edinburg North.
Some notable returners for the Cardinals this season include pitcher Connor Harlan (last season’s 32-6A First Team All-District pitcher), third baseman Boedy Flores (First team All-District third baseman), outfielder Isaias Ibarra (Second Team All-District) and catcher Nathan Ramon (Honorable Mention).
In addition to the team’s coaching changes, the whole league will have to adjust to a revised schedule as this year teams will face the same squad in back-to-back games during the week.
For example, the Cards open the conference season against Harlingen South at home on Tuesday then they play the Hawks again on Friday at South’s field.
The change is meant to even out teams’ pitching due to the UIL’s pitch limitation rule. UIL regulations state that a pitcher’s count is determined after each single-game appearance depending on their pitch count.
For instance: If a pitcher throws 0-30 pitches in a game, he does not have to rest prior to the next game. However, if he throws 31-45 pitches, he must rest at least one day. For 46-65 pitches, he must rest two days; for 66-85 pitches, three days of rest is required; and for 86-110 pitches, four days of rest must follow.