The Texas State baseball team is going into Saturday with an opportunity to advance to the Sun Belt Conference championship game for the first time in the team’s history.
Texas State will need to beat Louisiana-Lafayette in order to advance. Louisiana-Lafayette needs to win two games against Texas State, as they have already lost once in the double-elimination tournament.
Previous matchup: These two teams matched up in the first round of the tournament. Texas State came away with an 8-7 victory against the Ragin’ Cajuns.
The Bobcats went into the top of ninth inning losing 7-4, but the team scored four runs to make a comeback. All of the runs came with two outs.
Two errors were committed by Louisiana-Lafayette when the Bobcats made their comeback in the ninth inning. Texas State took advantage of the mistakes made by the Ragin’ Cajuns.
Semifinal matchup in last year’s tournament: The Bobcats met the Ragin’ Cajuns two times in the tournament a year ago. The last time was in the semifinals, and Louisiana-Lafayette eliminated Texas State.
Texas State faced the obstacle of having to beat the Ragin’ Cajuns twice in the semifinals because the Bobcats lost 4-3 in their first game the tournament. This time the roles are switched.
Texas State will need one win on Saturday in order to advance to the championship. If they can advance, they will play either the first-seeded South Alabama or eighth-seeded Arkansas State.
David Paiz: Nobody in the tournament is hitting better than David Paiz, senior first baseman. The senior is hitting .625 in the conference tournament with 11 runs batted in, two home runs and three runs scored.
He has been a key factor to the offense, including making the game-winning hit in the last matchup against the Ragin’ Cajuns.
If Paiz can keep up his strong performance, he will be a likely candidate for Sun Belt Conference Tournament MVP.
Ragin’ Cajun offense: Louisiana-Lafayette’s offense is one of the best in the Sun Belt Conference. The team leads the conference in home runs and runs scored.
If Texas State wants to advance to the championship game, they need to be careful. The Ragin’ Cajuns are led by Stefan Trosclair, junior second baseman. Trosclair leads the team in home runs with 15 and has the team’s second-highest batting average (.351). Kyle Clement, Ragin’ Cajuns junior center fielder, leads the team in batting average at .359.
What’s next: Texas State could be looking to advance to the championship game on Saturday.
The team will face Louisiana-Lafayette again if they lose the first game. The elimination game will start at 7:30 on Saturday. If the team loses the second game, their season will end and the Ragin’ Cajuns will advance to the championship game.
A win, meanwhile, puts the Bobcats in a championship matchup with South Alabama or Arkansas State.
Follow Matt Gurevitz on Twitter at @Matt_Gurevitz.