Texas State baseball will travel to Oregon for its first three-game series on the road this season to play undefeated Oregon State University.
They will face the 12-0 Beavers in Corvallis then travel to Eugene to play the University of Oregon Tuesday and Wednesday. The Ducks are 10-3 on the season.
The Bobcats played host to Interstate 35 rival University of Texas-San Antonio for their midweek game and defeated the conference opponent 6-0 on the shoulders of their pitching staff. UTSA is leading the conference with a .338 batting average.
The victory was their third in a row, after winning games two and three against Northern Kentucky University last weekend by a combined score of 24-7. Texas State (5-7) can get back to 500 this weekend with two Pac-12 conference opponents on the horizon.
“It’s huge,” said pitcher Hunter Lemke after winning the third straight game. “(We) are going to Oregon to play two top 10 programs. It’s going to be tough, but I like the where we (are) at going into it.”
Oregon State has been solid from the mound this season, ranking first in the Pac-12 in earned run average (0.83). The team has only surrendered 10 earned runs all season long in 12 games. The next closest in the rankings is Stanford University with 21 earned runs.
Leading the Beavers in pitching is freshman starter Andrew Moore. In three appearances, Moore is maintaining a 0.42 ERA and is 3-0. The other two starters for the weekend will most likely be junior Dan Child and senior left-hander Matt Boyd. All together, they have struck out 50 batters and have walked 12, while giving up seven earned runs total.
Texas State seems to have found its set weekend rotation, starting with its junior Kyle Finnegan who leads the team in strikeouts with 26. Finnegan has yet to pitch more than six innings in a game in his three appearances. Sophomore Taylor Black was named WAC Pitcher of the Week for his one-hitter against Northern Kentucky.
“We probably spend more time thinking about what we are capable of,” said Coachin regards to scouting their opposition’s offense. “The biggest thing (against UTSA) was we attacked the zone all night. We showed command in our off-speed pitches.”
Texas State ranks fourth among WAC programs in ERA (3.28). The team is led by Black, who has a 0.41 ERA. Junior Scott Grist has performed better in his last two starts than in the first against Sam Houston State University. Against Northern Kentucky, Grist pitched five innings and two-thirds, giving up six hits and one earned run.
The Beavers are not slacking from the plate either. They are boasting a .338 average, good enough for third in the Pac-12. They are led by sophomore designated hitter Dylan Davis, who is sporting a .395 average in 43 at-bats. The Beavers have four other players with more than 40 at-bats who are batting above .300 for the season.
The Bobcats have seen a recent rise in average from under .200 to .243 currently in their series win against Northern Kentucky and victory Tuesday over UTSA. They scored 36 runs in four games and had double-digit hits in three of the four games.
Senior left fielder Kevin Sah is leading the team in average (.467). He has 15 at-bats, had an RBI double against UTSA and started in three of the last four games. Sophomore short stop Garrett Mattlage has the most at-bats for the Bobcats and has a .340 average. Senior Andrew Stumph, junior catcher Tyler Pearson and sophomore right fielder Cody Lovejoy all have above .300 averages.
After their series with Oregon State, the Bobcats will face the more defensive University of Oregon team, who is last in the conference in batting with a .237 average. It is fourth in earned run average (2.58).
“We got nothing to lose,” said first baseman Ben McElroy. “Oregon State (has not) lost yet. Other than us, not many people are expecting much. We are going to go in there and play like we know we can and hopefully get some (wins).”