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The University Star




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The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

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Looking back on a disappointing season: What’s to come next year for TXST baseball

The+Texas+State+baseball+team+storms+the+field+to+celebrate+its+victory+over+the+University+of+Houston+in+the+Astros+Foundation+Classic%2C+Friday%2C+March.+1%2C+2024%2C+Minute+Maid+Park+in+Houston.+
Star file photo
The Texas State baseball team storms the field to celebrate its victory over the University of Houston in the Astros Foundation Classic, Friday, March. 1, 2024, Minute Maid Park in Houston.

Texas State baseball finished the 2024 season with a 27-29 record and a 13-17 record in conference play, marking its first losing season since 2021. Expectations going into the season were high, as the Bobcats were coming off a winning 2023 season and a Sun Belt Championship in 2022.

Critical injuries played a part in the let-down season for Texas State. Most notably, freshman outfielder Ryne Farber, the team leader in batting average, missed nearly a month to an undisclosed injury. Additionally, senior pitcher Jack Stroud missed four weeks with an injury to his throwing arm.

With more than half of the roster graduating and junior outfielder Daylan Pena and junior infielder Aaron Lugo entering the transfer portal, the team will look much different next season. Let’s take a look at what went wrong this season and how the roster will look in 2025:

 

Pitching

Statistically, the Texas State pitching staff was not great in 2024, posting an ERA of 5.18. That ERA was third-best in the Sun Belt Conference, but it still needs to improve if they want to make a deep postseason run.

Of course, it’s not a guarantee, but the good news for Texas State is the two main inning eaters in 2024, senior Drayton Brown and redshirt junior Austin Eaton, should return next season.

Brown posted a 3.14 ERA in his first season as a Bobcat and will likely pitch some big innings in 2025.

Eaton struggled, accumulating a 5.27 ERA in 56 ⅓ innings, but showed signs of greatness, striking out nine batters against the University of Louisiana-Monroe and allowing just one run in seven innings against Appalachian State University. While he has pitched well in the past, Eaton will have to improve his overall performance if he wants a spot in the weekend rotation.

Other returning pitchers include sophomore Sam Hall, junior Matthew Tippie, redshirt sophomore Taylor Seay, junior Calen Graham and more.

Besides Brown and Eaton, Hall saw the most innings on the mound in 2024 among the returning pitchers. The sophomore had an up-and-down season, during which we saw him throw a complete game, allowing just one run, but he ultimately struggled with an overall ERA of 5.28. Hall will be in the mix to be a weekend rotation starter, but he will likely have to pitch more consistently to earn and maintain a starting role.

Head Coach Steven Trout probably isn’t satisfied with his pitching staff’s performance this season, and he will be counting on returners to step up their game. It’s possible he might look to the transfer portal to improve the staff as a whole.

 

Offense

Looking at the numbers with the naked eye, you wouldn’t expect the offense to be Texas State’s main issue in 2024. They posted a respectable .270/.380/.417 (batting average/on-base/slugging percentage) slash line. However, across the Sun Belt Conference, they ranked tenth in batting average, eighth in on-base percentage and ninth in slugging percentage.

With the Sun Belt Conference becoming one of the strongest baseball conferences in the country, Texas State’s offense needs better numbers next season if it wants to appear in the conference tournament. Farber will almost definitely hold down a starting spot, but the rest of the starting lineup remains a mystery.

Many of the offense’s struggles this season came from the 2023 team batting average leaders, senior shortstop Davis Powell and sophomore second baseman Chase Mora, having down seasons. Mora had a .710 OPS, and Powell had a .713. Powell won’t return next season, but Texas State is hopeful Mora will return to his freshman-year form.

In addition to Powell, redshirt senior catcher August Ramirez, Pena, Lugo, senior first baseman Alec Patino and senior outfielders Kameron Weil and Cade Manning all played their last game in a Bobcat uniform.

Sophomore catcher Rashawn Galloway and junior catcher Ian Collier should see more playing time next season with Ramirez graduating. Galloway had a solid 2024, ranking fifth in team batting average with .279, and Collier accumulated an .815 OPS.

Nothing is guaranteed, but freshman utility player Ethan Farris, freshman infielder Tyler Garritano and freshmen outfielders Ben Merriman and Samson Pugh are strong contenders to gain more playing time in the absence of the departing players.

Trout will likely look at players in the transfer portal, and incoming freshmen always have a chance to earn a starting spot. After a disappointing 2024 campaign, Trout is facing a lot of pressure going into 2025, and he will more than likely do anything he can to improve the roster.

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