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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

Filling Wells’ shoes: Who’s up next in the Bobcat’s pitching staff?

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Meg Boles
Texas State senior pitcher Peyton Zabel (24) pitches the ball during the game against Texas A&M Corpus Christi, Wednesday, March 13, 2024, at Bobcat Ballpark.

Ever since the Baltimore Orioles selected Texas State right-handed pitcher Levi Wells in the fourth round in the 2023 MLB Draft, the Bobcats have lost a true ace in their pitching staff.

During the 2023 season, Wells recorded a team-high 98 strikeouts, was named All-Sun Belt Second Team and was selected twice as the Sun Belt’s Pitcher of the Week. After such an integral piece leaves the team, a question can be asked:

Who is up next?

Upperclassmen

These pitchers are the veteran players of the group. Wells was a junior when he was drafted, so there should be more experienced players likely to take the reins.

Peyton Zabel

Zabel is a 24-year-old redshirt senior right-hander currently holding a 3-2 record in five appearances and has 14 strikeouts for the season.

As a senior in 2023, Zabel appeared in 14 games, made nine starts, and recorded 30 strikeouts and 17 walks. Zabel is an experienced pitcher but has an ERA of 6.00 in only two starts and five appearances. A down year for Zabel so far, but a bounce back could help his ability to show his true importance to this team.

Jack Stroud

Stroud is a 23-year-old senior left-hander, currently holding a 3-2 record in five appearances, and has nine strikeouts for the season. As a junior in 2023, Stroud appeared in 25 games, made one start, and recorded 67 strikeouts and 18 walks going 3-2 with four saves.

Stroud is a pitcher this team can learn to depend on, but his ERA does not help his case. In only three game starts and five appearances, Stroud is holding a less-than-stellar 9.28.

Tony Robie: A 23-year-old senior right-hander, currently holding a 2-3 record in five appearances and has 14 strikeouts for the season. As a junior in 2023, Robie appeared in 20 games with 12 starts on the mound and recorded 48 strikeouts and 26 walks.

Robie can be a very dependable pitcher for this bullpen, but leading the bullpen in the opponent’s batting average of 4.00 will not help his cause.

Underclassmen

These pitchers are the newer to untested freshmen and sophomores of the team and fresher to the collegiate level, which could be what it takes to help take a step toward becoming an ace.

Sam Hall

Hall is a 20-year-old sophomore right-hander, currently holding a 1-4 record with two game starts and four appearances with 11 strikeouts on the season. As a freshman at Panola College, Hall pitched in 15 games, finished the season with a 5-3 record, and recorded 57 strikeouts and 27 walks.

As a senior at West Brook High School, Hall was chosen as district MVP and chose Texas State over schools such as Oklahoma, Texas Tech and UTSA. Only starting two games this season, Hall has been able to post a modest 4.73 ERA and could be just what this bullpen needs to take a step in the right direction.

 

Taylor Seay

Seay is a 20-year-old redshirt sophomore right-hander currently holding a 1-0 record with zero game starts, nine appearances and five strikeouts on the season. In 2023 as a sophomore at Angelina College, Seay pitched in 22 games and held a 3-3 record with 42 strikeouts and 25 walks.

Holding the best ERA out of every listed so far, Seay has a promising 3.18.

Dark horses

These are the transfers and experienced journeymen who could find a home at Texas State and improve on past years’ performances.

Austin Eaton

Eaton is a 21-year-old redshirt junior right-hander, currently holding a 2-1 record with five game starts in five game appearances and nine strikeouts on the season. In 2023 as a junior at Navarro College, Eaton pitched in 22 games and held a 3-3 record, recorded 42 strikeouts and walked 25 batters.

Eaton was also named to the NJCAA All-American second team. Holding an ERA of 3.97, Eaton can be a pitcher who is ready to step up and take charge of this pitching staff, being relatively younger than other veteran pitchers on the staff.

Calen Graham

Graham is a 21-year-old junior RHP, currently holding a 0-0 record with one game started in five appearances and seven strikeouts on the season. In 2023, as a sophomore at North Texas Central College, Graham pitched in two games, both of them starts, and recorded 13 strikeouts and walked six batters.

Graham has a 5.40 ERA for his season so far but there are plenty of games left to solidify himself as a pillar of the pitching staff.

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