The Texas State baseball team will look to get their offensive and defensive efforts back on track coming off three straight loses when they take on Northern Kentucky University for a three-game series this weekend.
The biggest struggle for the Bobcats (2-6) has come at the plate this year, but they were able to get their offense going against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi University Tuesday in a 7-3 loss. It was the defense that was not able to do its part against the Islanders, making three errors, two in the eighth inning.
Until the game against Corpus Christi, the Bobcats had not committed more than one error in a game all season. Coachstill remains confident in his defensive players and knows their performance from Tuesday is not indicative of their talents.
“My outlook right now is to just get to the next day,” Harrington said. “(We) need to see what we got player wise. (We) need to see who wants to come back and make this team a better team right now.”
Northern Kentucky University comes into the weekend 1-6. Their lone victory came against St. Louis University in 14 innings by a score of 5-3. They lost to St. Louis just two days later by the same score.
The Bobcats’ defeat against the Islanders was the largest deficit all season. Texas State has lost by a single run in three of their six defeats thus far in 2013. They have gone into extra innings two times in seven games and lost both.
Against the Islanders, Texas State surrendered three runs in the first inning. Their WAC-worst .194 batting average would have trouble overcoming the deficit.
Texas State is still trying to find a lineup that suits them. Harrington has started 14 different players. He used a total of 15 players in Tuesday’s loss to Corpus Christi. In terms of batting position and average, junior utility player Cody Lovejoy and sophomore shortstop Garrett Mattlage have been the two most consistent.
“We are going to start with a clean slate,” Lovejoy said. “The only thing to do is come back and get a solid victory. So we are going to come back, play hard and try to put a hurting on somebody.”
Lovejoy is the only Bobcat batting over .360, 8-15 from the plate in his last four games. Mattlage is second on the team with a .333 average. Two other Bobcat players have an average above .200.
Northern Kentucky’s senior infielder Brad Clement is the team’s only player batting more than .400. Their two next leading hitters are freshman catcher Cody Kuzniczci (.375) and freshman outfielder Conor Ledger (.357). Clement has a home run on his resume.
The Bobcats will hold a pitching advantage this weekend, with junior Kyle Finnegan starting on Friday. He maintains a 2.45 earned run average and has given up six hits and eight walks while striking out 20. Sophomore Taylor Black will start game two and has a 0.60 ERA, giving up five hits, a run and five walks while striking out 13.
“All we can do as a pitching staff is go out and put up zeroes,” said junior pitcher Scott Grist. “I think we have done a decent job. Our hitting is going to come around. They have been hitting the ball hard and hitting right at them sometimes. We can come back at any time.”
Northern Kentucky has two starters with ERA near 5.00. However, its senior reliever Brett Loeding boasts a 0.71 ERA, and has appeared in four games this season. Senior right-hander Blake Bagshaw will go head-to-head with Finnegan on Friday. He is 0-2 on the year giving up 12 hits and four runs while striking out three.