By Reed Graff
Texas State Baseball finished the 2017 season in a great way, finishing the season in the Semi-Finals of the Sun-Belt Tournament. An overall record of 29-30, the team’s record isn’t a good indication of how the season went. The team had an explosive offensive that could pop off at any moment, and a young and inconsistent; but solid pitching staff. The season was full of big moments and solid wins over top ranked teams. Bobcat Stadium enjoyed a great season in attendance. All season long, the stadium was full and the atmosphere was electric. Their splits show that this positively impacted the team. A 20-13 record at home compared to the 7-17 record in away games. The Bobcats also managed to take three out of their four games against the defending national champions, Coastal Carolina. They were the team that Texas State upset in the Sun Belt Tournament to ensure them a spot in the Semi-Finals. The Bobcats also picked up their first home win over the Texas Longhorns this season.
The Bobcats had a talented team with several players poised to have their names called in the Upcoming MLB Draft. Junior outfielder Theodore Hoffman was drawing scouts to San Marcos all season long. His blend of power, speed, and defense make him an intriguing prospect. Hoffman hit .349 with 16 home runs and batted in 56 runs for the Bobcats. Hoffman led the team in most offensive categories and was in the top three in all of them. He hit in the three spot for the team throughout the season, and was the Bobcats offensive cornerstone.
The 2015 recruiting class has continued to excel in their time in San Marcos. Sophomores Jonathan Ortega, Jaylen Hubbard, Ryan Newman, and others have all played well in their time for Texas State. Ortega was primarily the team’s second basemen, but when three year starter at shortstop Luke Sherley went down, Ortega stepped up and manned the spot for a time early in the season. He hit .339 with five home runs and his 22 stolen bases made him a threat on the bases. Ryan Newman had one of the highlights of the season, when he hit a walk off bomb to right field in the 14th inning to defeat defending national champions Coastal Carolina.
The pitching staff struggled in 2016. The team earned a run average of 5.69, indicating the struggles the team had. Freshman Nicholas Fraze was a bright spot however. His 4.59 earned run average (ERA) led the starting pitchers on the team, and he also led the team in many other pitching categories. He struck out 37 of the 211 batters that he faced. Sophomore Brayden Theriot was the team’s best bullpen piece, finishing the season with the team’s lowest ERA. He threw 20.1 innings and struck out 15 batters in those innings.
All in all, the season was full of ups and downs. This off-season is crucial because bringing in pitching is a top priority. With the offense that the team currently has, a solid pitching staff could help put them over the top. The 2018 season should be a fun one.
Featured image by KTSW Multimedia.