The Texas State baseball team is at the beginning of its season and one thought continues to run through the minds of the team leaders: keep improving
The Bobcats welcomed 14 newcomers to the baseball team in the new season, but the team is far from reaching its full potential.
Before the season kicked off, three Bobcats received preseason conference honors.
Jaylen Hubbard, junior third baseman, Jonathan Ortega, junior second baseman, and Dylan Paul, senior utility player, were named to the 2018 Preseason All-Sun Belt Conference Second Team.
However, garnering preseason awards were not enough to kick the Bobcats into gear this season.
“I appreciate the title a lot,” Hubbard said. “But, it is about something I did last year. I am just trying to be better this year.”
Instead, the awards gave the Bobcats a reason to strive for a better record than last year’s 29-30 season.
“We are already out hitting guys and half of our offense hasn’t really started going,” Paul said. “I said the other day that once we really get it going, it will be good.”
The Bobcats opened their 2018 season with a home series Feb. 16-18 against the 2017 Big 12 Champions, Oklahoma State University. Texas State went 2-1 with a 10-1 win over the Cowboys.
Texas State earned its first sweep of the season against Stephen F. Austin University March 2-4 at Bobcat Ballpark. The Bobcats outplayed the SFA Lumberjacks ending the sweep with a walk-off triple from Paul.
The Bobcats took an 8-6 loss in their first appearance Feb. 20 against Rice University after the Owls battled back with five runs in the eighth inning.
Texas State turned things around in its second game with the Rice Owls and won 6-2 March 6 at Bobcat Ballpark.
“I think everyone on the team is on the same page,” Paul said. “We are a better team than what our record says. But, I mean our record is not even that bad.”
With so much talent from the newcomers and veterans, Head Coach Ty Harrington said the team still has more work to get done.
“We are not there yet,” Harrington said. “With our offense, we have a couple of pieces of it that haven’t quite hit on all cylinders. They are putting the time in. They are putting the work in and staying committed to the process. They will get better.”
Leaders on the team know what it takes to win on the collegiate level and plan to take the new members under their wing.
“I consider myself to be one of the leaders on the team along with a couple other people,” Hubbard said. “I know there are a few that could make a difference in this team. So, I know that I need to sort of take them under my wing, which could be for the better this season or in the long run.”
The Bobcats have the ability to be a Sun Belt Conference champion team.
“If everything comes together, I think we could make a good run for the title in the playoffs.” Hubbard said.