Texas State to play Wagner at home this weekend

By: 

Sports Reporter

The baseball team continues its home game stretch with a three-match series against 0-3 Wagner this weekend.

Texas State beat Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Tuesday with help from bench players Ben McElroy, junior outfielder, and Austin O’Neal, senior first baseman.

McElroy and O’Neal both received RBIs in the game. McElroy’s base hit put the ball club in the lead, while O’Neal increased the lead with a two RBI single.

Hunter Lemke, senior pitcher, allowed one run in the outing. This was Lemke’s third-straight game allowing at least one run in the ninth.

“I just need to keep the ball down,” Lemke said. “I’m most successful when I can keep my pitches down in the zone. I need to make the adjustment and let my defense back me up.”

The Bobcats are 6-1 at home, and have won 27 of their last 30 home games dating back to the 2013 season.

“Most people are comfortable at their own home,” said Coach Ty Harrington. “You know the environment and the surroundings. However, a lot of it is that we have had big crowds. It’s exciting—the players love the energy and recognize that and look forward to that.”

Bobcat Ballpark has averaged 1,654 fans in the last seven home games. Every home game has reached at least 1,000 patrons in attendance, and the season opener nearly reached 2,500 fans.  

Wagner comes into the game after losing three straight games to Elon last weekend. The Seahawks scored 6 runs in the series while Elon scored 32.

“Focus is something we are going to have to get better at,” Harrington said. “Our attention level and focus level against Corpus Christi was not good. It certainly was not something we had grown accustomed to. Hopefully this weekend we regain some of that focus we had earlier in the season.”

The Bobcats are on a four-game winning streak. The pitching staff has  a 2.63 ERA and 43 strikeouts during this streak.

“I don’t doubt our kids want to do well,” Harrington said. “Our guys want to win, but whether it was the change in game time or not, come Friday we need to come out with more intensity and more involved focus.”  

Tyler Pearson, senior catcher, produced a hit in each one of the Bobcats’ four games during the streak. Pearson earned his fourth multi-hit game Tuesday, leading the team with 11, and places second in batting average with .379.  

Lucas Humpal, sophomore pitcher, will take the mound against Wagner, looking to build off a career start last week against California-Riverside.

“Hopefully (Humpal) can come out with the same kind of focus,” Harrington said. “His attention to detail and prep work need to be the same as when he took on Riverside. If he can continue his hard work, he will continue to throw well.”

Humpal is 1-0 to begin the season with a 2.84 ERA, .284 opponents batting average and a complete game.

Austen Williams, junior pitcher, will make a start this weekend. Williams is 2-0 this season, with a 0.00 ERA, 15 strikeouts and a .089 opponents batting average.

Williams has yet to allow an earned run as he has pitched shutout innings against Air Force and California-Riverside. Williams will take the mound behind Humpal and Taylor Black, redshirt junior, to pitch the final game of the series.