Errors plague baseball heading into Georgia State matchup

By: 

Sports Reporter
Texas State baseball will take on Georgia State this weekend in three conference games at Bobcat Ballpark. The Bobcats have a 19-17 record.

The Texas State baseball team has lost its last three conference series and is now on a three-game losing streak heading into this weekend’s matchup against Georgia State.

“I thought we swung the bat well last weekend,” said Coach Ty Harrington. “We started to piece things together, and we have been grinding to get better offensively, but it all comes down to defense. We have not been taking care of the baseball.”

The Bobcats will play Georgia State, who has a 17-20 record. The Panthers are 5-10 in the Sun Belt Conference.

Georgia State’s game Tuesday was canceled due to inclement weather. The team will be playing for the first time since its April 13 game against UT-Arlington.   

The Panthers have lost two straight conference series heading into Bobcat Ballpark, including a series against UT-Arlington, a team Texas State swept earlier in the season.

Nic Wilson, Panthers infielder, currently leads the conference in home runs with 12 and is fourth in RBI with 38.

Wilson ranks third in the country in home runs and is sixth in slugging with a .771 percentage.

Chase Raffield, Panthers outfielder, stands tied for ninth in the NCAA in home runs with nine and tied for 12th in slugging at .667.

Raffield is batting .351 with 20 RBIs and five home runs against Sun Belt opponents this season.

Georgia State has three players in the top six in homers for the Sun Belt and ranks in the top two in every major offensive category.

Opposing batters are averaging a .305 hitting percentage with a 5.77 earned run average, ranking ninth in conference against the Panthers’ pitching staff this season.

Kenny Anderson, Panthers pitcher, has a 3-2 record on the season with a 6.00 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 45 innings pitched.

Texas State ended its five-game road trip Tuesday as the team went 1-4 over that span.

The Bobcats return to San Marcos for the series where they are 14-6 on the season. The team is 8-7 in conference.  

Austen Williams, junior pitcher, has notched a victory in his last two games putting together a 5-1 record with a 2.79 ERA.

“Sometimes at the beginning of games my arm will be a little stiff,” Williams said. “Lately my arm has been feeling great in my complete game some of my best fastball came in that game.”

Williams ranks fifth in the Sun Belt in ERA, second in strikeouts with 61 and is tied for second in wins with five.

Granger Studdard, freshman outfielder, leads the Bobcats in homers with five and second in RBI with 23 to Garrett Mattlage, junior infielder, who has recorded 30 on the season.

Studdard struck his second collegiate grand slam on Saturday against Louisiana-Monroe to lead the team in the category.

“I’m just up there trying not to swing at bad pitches,” Studdard said. “He threw two pitches in the dirt, and I knew I would have a good pitch to hit next and he left in right there.”  

Mattlage has reached base safely in five straight games including a 4-5 night against Louisiana-Monroe where he had two RBI and 2 runs scored.

Texas State committed one error against UTSA. The error marked the 11th in the last three games.

“We need to be controlling the baseball,” Harrington said. “We made some defensive mistakes. The execution part of it has been frustrating for all of us. We’ve got to get that control of the ball.”  

The Bobcats rank seventh in the conference in fielding percentage and third in errors with 56.

“It is frustrating as a team and for the players,” Harrington said. “The value of defense has come into play, and we have not been taking care of the baseball.”