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The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Baseball looks to dominate Sun Belt


Texas State Baseball breaks out for the final time before the Bobcat’s first game of the NCAA Baseball Stanford Regional against UC Santa Barbara, Friday, June 3, 2022, at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond in Palo Alto, California. The Bobcats defeated the Gauchos 7-3.

Due to their performance during the 2022 season, the Texas State baseball team has found itself to be the team that everyone wants to beat, and they do not take that lightly. Their incredible season has built up anticipation for 2023 and they are ready to put in the effort for another winning season.
“We’ve gone from the hunters to the hunted,” senior outfielder Jose Gonzalez said. “We’ve got a pretty big target on our back as conference champs and we made a big splash in the regional…they know who we are, they know what we got and we’re going to bring it.”
The Bobcats finished their successful 2022 season with an overall record of 47-14 and a record of 26-4 for the Sun Belt Conference. Their season ended when the Stanford Cardinal knocked them out of the NCAA Stanford Regional after a three-game series in which they lost two games. 
The Bobcats had a 2022 season full of great performances from the team, making a name for themselves as a program to look out for. Senior pitcher Zeke Wood completed the season with an ERA of 3.78, a 7-1 record and 103 strikeouts. Gonzalez, one of the team’s top hitters, finished last season leading the team in RBIs with a total of 60 and 13 home runs throughout the season.
“When they walked this fall, they had a different look in their eye of their expectations … [with] the way Regionals played out, some great games and the way it ended,” head coach Steven Trout said. “Although they were really happy with the way the season went, there was also that emptiness there at the end.”
Despite losing eight seniors last year, including pitcher and 2022 Sun Belt Conference Male Athlete of the Year Tristan Stivors and Conference Player of the Year Dalton Shuffield, the team feels prepared to take on this season without them. 
Seniors and other returning players have put in the effort to shape their team into the powerhouse that they were last year, despite the departures.
“I think we are for sure deeper this year,” Wood said. “We lost some great guys last year…but we also picked up some guys that have experience under their belt and some younger guys that have really shown in the fall and early spring that they’re suited to maybe even take that role [of leadership].”
Leadership and neutrality are major themes for the team this year. The coaches and players have put an emphasis on how their behavior during and after games is a reflection of who they are and how they play. Trout said maintaining composure and good leadership is incredibly important.
“I think the biggest thing is…just stay neutral. Stay neutral with our emotions, stay neutral when something goes good … or something goes bad …try to stay as neutral as we can,” Trout said. “That starts with myself. I have to be neutral. You know there’s times you have to be excited [and] times you have to get after your team. We just have to stay as neutral as we can and if you do that, you have a chance to be in control of yourself and … your performance.”
The returning players have a lot of confidence in the incoming players, with the bullpen and batting lineup gaining some power. Sophomore infielder Ryder Hernandez has made changes to improve his performance and the team is anticipating his return to the plate. 
On the mound, there are new players that the team is looking forward to competing with this year. The pitchers to look out for include junior pitcher Tony Robie, who started 11 games and pitched in 19 with an ERA of 5.05 last season. 
These players, including Wood, have put in the effort to improve the highly anticipated Bobcat bullpen after Tristan Stivors, who was a key player for the team last year, graduated.
The coaches and players are anticipating the start of this season and they are ready to perform for the program. The Bobcats have spent this preseason growing together and working to ensure that they are mentally prepared to be one of the top competitors in the Sun Belt Conference.
“I’m itching to get back on the field and so is everyone else,” Gonzalez said. “I think everyone knows what we have to live up to and everyone’s prepared for it. We’re ready to do it.”
Texas State will begin the 2023 season with a three-game series against Northwestern University. The opening game is set for 6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 17, at Bobcat Ballpark and will be streamed on ESPN+.

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  • Texas State Baseball junior left-fielder Jose Gonzalez (23) runs the bases after hitting a home run during a game against Stanford during the NCAA Stanford Regional, Sunday, June 5, 2022, at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond in Palo Alto, CA. The Bobcats lost 8-4.

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