Texas State ready for opening weekend, Oklahoma State

Photo by Gerald Castillo

Texas State Baseball

Texas State is ready to begin the season Friday in a three-game series against Oklahoma State. 

The Bobcats, who are coming off a 29-30 2017 campaign, have high hopes for the 2018 season. Texas State’s players believe the team can reach a regional, play in a super regional, and even fight their way into an appearance in the College World Series. 

The Bobcats face their first test against the Cowboys, who enter the season receiving votes in the USA Today and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association polls. 

Senior shortstop Luke Sherley said Texas State respects Oklahoma State, but the Bobcats want to come out swinging this weekend. 

“We’d really like to go out there Friday night and punch them in mouth but baseball is baseball however it goes it’s only three games out of 56,” Sherley said. “You got to look at the big picture, but opening weekend is always a lot of fun.”

Texas State lost two games in last year’s three-game series against Oklahoma State. But junior second baseman Jonathan Ortega is looking forward to playing against the Cowboys. 

“I love going out and playing good competition,” Ortega said. “I know it only makes you better. Facing good arms, facing good players, I think it should be a good series like it was last year.” 

Sophomore right-hander Nicholas Fraze is scheduled to take the mound Friday. Fraze went 5-2 in 2017 with a 4.59 ERA. He’ll face fellow right-hander Jonathan Heasley. Fraze understands the challenge the Cowboys present. 

“We’re going to see a lot of good hitter but I think it’s really going to push us to pitch well,” Fraze said. “It’s going to teach us to throw, how to throw, and it’s going to make us a better team and better pitchers.”

Texas State faces a tough schedule in its first two weeks with this weekend’s series against Oklahoma State, a three-game series against McNeese State, and weekday games against Rice and Baylor. Head coach Ty Harrington knows the beginning of the season will be important as the Bobcats prepare for Sun Belt competition. 

“(The games are) all big just because of wins and losses, and then trying to discover who you’re becoming and who fits what role before you head into conference,” Harrington said. “It’s great competition. Obviously, we’re hosting a Big 12 team … Then McNeese (State) had a great year. They’ve done some unbelievable things too. So, the competition is intense, but I just think the more you play that the more your hitters get accustomed.” 

With the beginning of the season, the Bobcats are looking to start the season strong to help it make a regional appearance for the first time since 2011.

“Not a single guy on this team has played in the postseason,” Sherley said. “As far as I’m concerned, that’s embarrassing, not only for ourselves, but for this University. It’s too great of a University for that to be acceptable, so we’ve used it as motivation. We’re looking to change that this year.” 

San Marcos Daily Record

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