Weatherford baseball’s long tradition of producing college and professional players continued this week, with 2018-19 graduates Chris Molina and Mason Riney each signing letters of intent.
Molina, who primarily played second base in four years at Weatherford, signed with New Mexico’s Luna Community College.
Riney, a right-handed pitcher and fellow four-year Roo, signed with Louisiana’s Bossier Parish Community College.
Weatherford Head Baseball Coach Jason Lee said both longtime Roos have plenty to offer their respective college teams.
“I think Chris is a pretty good all-around player,” Lee said.
“He brings a grit and great work ethic to the table. There’s nobody that’s really gonna outwork him. He busts his tail every chance he gets. He’s got a lot of speed, he can put pressure on you on the bases, he can bunt and hit the ball in the gaps as well. He’s very solid defensively. We liked to call him our vacuum cleaner at second base.
“He’s done an excellent job for us the last two years. His junior year he hit in the nine-hole for us, but was like our second lead-off hitter. Last year he was our lead-off hitter. I’ve really enjoyed coaching him over the last four years because of how hard he works.
“Mason’s also got a lot of ability. He just gets up there on the mound and competes. He throws strikes, and he’s gonna make you hit it. He’s got three different pitches he can throw for strikes and he keeps the ball down around the knees. He’s not gonna come up there and wow you with his velocity every time, but he moves the ball around well.
“In the playoffs [against Arlington Martin], he had one of the best pitching performances over the course of a series I’ve ever seen in my 20 years of coaching. Throwing a complete game in 68 pitches and shutting out Arlington Martin and then coming back Saturday and getting another two and a third innings in 15 pitches. He was just dominant that weekend. It was very impressive what he did on the mound there.
“I can’t say enough about how he competed on the mound in big games.”
For Molina, Luna Community College has given him a chance to make good on a life-long dream of playing at the next level.
“It means the world to me honestly,” Molina said.
“The college is great. It’s perfect for me. I’ve dreamed about since I was a little kid. I’ve always wanted to go to the next level, and now I’ve got that opportunity. I’m gonna run with it.”
In Riney’s case, playing baseball for years to come remains a major goal, one the right-handed pitcher will get to live out thanks to Bossier Parish Community College, at least for the next two years.
“It’s an honor,” Riney said.
“I’ve been playing baseball my entire life and to get to take the next step and show what I can do is a great thing. They’re taking a chance on me and giving me the opportunity I need to maybe go [even further].”
Both Molina and Riney said their respective experiences with Weatherford’s coaches and Roo baseball have helped prepare them for the future on the field, while providing countless great memories along the way.
“It’s been the best experience,” Molina said.
“Coach Lee has been the best coach he can be. He’s taught me a lot of things. I’ve made a lot of memories here in Weatherford. I can always look back and smile.”
“It’s great,” Riney said.
“I’ve become a man I think more throughout baseball. Coach Lee and all the other coaches have taught me things about baseball and about life that I’ll keep close to heart.”
The feeling is mutual for Lee.
“I expect big things from both of them,” Lee said.
“I expect them to go in and compete for positions and hopefully we’ve prepared them for that.
“Hopefully they can go and show their new colleges what we teach and what we pride ourselves on here in Weatherford.”