While one baseball player was a senior in high school, he factored in one of the most important aspects of his life before committing to a university for the next four years, his family.
“Honestly, I live like an hour away, I loved the campus a lot and it was close to my family so that was a big reason,” Senior pitcher Braden Pearson said.
Pearson’s father was also one of the main factors that drove him to pick up the sport at a young age.
“I mean my dad, he’s played college ball, and he actually coaches professionally here at Round Rock, and he’s been a big factor in it,” Pearson said. “He played at the University of Cincinnati where he got drafted, then he played with the Phillies and Rangers for a bit before he hurt his arm pitching.”
In the 2016-2017 season, Pearson was only able to pitch nine innings, due to a serious injury.
“Last year I suffered a big injury,” Pearson said. “I pitched nine innings and woke up from a nap one day and I couldn’t see out of my left eye; my cornea ruptured. I tried pitching a few games after that, and it went well, it was just tough for me, so I decided to get my medical redshirt.”
But Pearson is not going to allow the setback from last year affect the way he is looking for the upcoming season.
“I’m really wanting to get a lot of innings this year, and hopefully get drafted,” Pearson said. “I just want to play hard, be a good teammate and win some games. I’ll probably be out of the bullpen this year, so I want to keep my ERA down as low as possible and attack the hitters.”
Pearson is also very confident in what the team can do this season, pointing to the batters as one of the biggest strengths of the squad.
“I think our offense, our hitters, they’re definitely going to put up some numbers for us,” Pearson said. “For pitching, if we can get some guys out and attack the strike zone, we can do that (put up numbers) too.”
Chemistry is one of the biggest aspects that many successful teams of all levels have, and Pearson points out that is one thing the Bobcats should be strong in this season.
“I think honestly, we have a good brotherhood going on and we’ve been putting in lots of work in the weight room; we’re hitting it hard,” Pearson said. “I think we got a good chance this season.”
Texas State usually gets a chance to go against some of the bigger in-state schools, such as Texas and Rice this season just to name a couple. But Pearson and the Bobcats are not intimidated one bit.
“They’re the same as us,” Pearson said. “They wake up the same way as we do, it’s just the name on the chest (that’s different). They think they’re bigger than us, but we’ve shown ’em we can beat them. It’s just another game.”
Pitching at the collegiate level requires a huge amount of confidence, and Pearson is not lacking for any. It is no secret that playing at Texas State, sometimes the sports teams are forgotten, so whenever the Bobcats get a chance to remind the ‘big dogs’ of Texas who they are, they definitely look forward to it and rise to the occasion.
Despite going 29-30 in the 2017 season, Pearson is confident the Bobcats can change that number for the better this year.
“I just think you got to take it game-by-game, and focus and work on our mistakes that we had last year,” Pearson said. “If our pitching is better, I believe we can definitely flip that number around.”
Pearson wants to end his Bobcat career on a stronger note than the team did last year, and by the sound of it, he and the team might do just that.