“He’s improved his draft stock so much,” Dixon said of Ray. “He pitches like a 28, 29-year-old in a 21-year-old body.
“We played six nights a week, and every night just rolled out a quality pitcher. ... We got a lead, and with our pitching we never really looked back.”
The Bombers also got terrific offensive contributions from G.R. Hinsley, who set a TCL record with 55 RBIs.
“It was a really special group of kids this year,” Dixon said.
“I was able to catch Coach of the Year for the second time in the league, and that’s just a testament to the players I had play for me.”
Because TCL rosters usually contain many Division I or top junior-college players, Dixon said most players start the season in May with the necessary motivation and work ethic. Trying to create a simultaneously intense and relaxed atmosphere — a necessary balance in a league where teams play 60 games in about 10 weeks — he said he saw his main responsibility as pulling the team together enough to play hard for each other.
“There’s not too much teaching going on,” Dixon said.
“As a manager, you have to create the environment, and you have to create the chemistry.”
With the season now over, Dixon returns to EOSC, where he’ll get to work with fellow McAlester alumni and current EOSC ballplayers Adam Boyd and Troy Meadows.
But having accomplished so much in his first two years as a summer-league coach, Dixon’s thoughts will no doubt at some point return to Texas.