Peyton Lewis celebrates his home-run with his teammates in Texas State’s game against TCU. Lewis was one of two players in the game to hit a home run in the Bobcats upset win over No. 11 TCU.
Daily Record photo by Gerald Castillo
Bobcats host Golden Eagles inclashofmid-majorpowers
It will be the clash of titans come this weekend as the Texas State Bobcats host the No. 25 ranked Southern Miss Golden Eagles in the conference opener for both teams.
Head Coach Steven Trout had nothing but compliments about the Golden Eagle baseball program.
“They have a really good club,” Trout said. “I’ve never played them since being here at Texas State, but I did when I was at Houston. Coach Berry does a really good job down there, and it will be a really good series.”
This will be the first ever meeting between the Golden Eagles and the Bobcats with Southern Miss joining the Sun Belt Conference last year along with James Madison, Marshall and Old Dominion.
Senior catcher Peyton Lewis is excited about the newcomers coming into the Sun Belt and how the new additions add to a bolstered conference that sent four teams to the NCAA Tournament.
“It does improve the conference,” Lewis said. “There are a lot of really good baseball programs coming into our league. It gives us more show and more competition. It’s a chance to show how much this conference can do.”
Southern Miss is considered to be one of the strongest mid-major baseball programs in the country having appeared in six NCAA tournaments in the last seven years with the lone season being the 2020 year, which was canceled due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Last year the Golden Eagles won both the Conference USA regular season and tournament titles while hosting a NCAA regional tournament with a regular season record of 43-16.
In the tournament, Southern Miss outlasted LSU in three games to win the Regional Tournament and advance to the Super Regionals for just the second time in program history before falling to eventual national champion Ole Miss.
This year Southern Miss comes into the weekend showdown with an identical record as Texas State at 11-5 with the Golden Eagles losing to Illinois twice, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, and Valparaiso.
When looking at the Golden Eagle offense, one of key hitters to keep an eye out for is infielder Dustin Dickerson.
Dickerson is second on the team batting average at .355 with 22 hits and nine RBIs.
Another big time slugger for Southern Miss is Slade Wilks.
Wilks leads the team in slugging percentage at .759 and leads the team in batting average at .389.
Wilks also leads the team in home runs with four while being tied for second in RBIs with 11.
In the pitching department, the three probable starters over the weekend will be Tanner Hall (22), Matthew Adams (20) and Niko Mazza (3-1) who all have started four games apiece.
Hall currently has an ERA of 3.68 while allowing just 19 hits, six walks, and throwing 20 strikeouts.
Adams comes in with an ERA of 2.70 and has allowed 17 hits, nine walks, and throwing 30 strikeouts.
Mazza currently leads the starters with an ERA of 1.96 and has allowed just 17 hits, 12 walks, and throwing 31 strikeouts.
When asked about the Golden Eagles, Lewis knows it’s going to be an interesting showdown between two high quality teams.”
“They are a ranked team, but I think we are a really good team too,” Lewis said. “It’s going to be a battle out there. It’s just going to be about who the best team is every day.”
First pitch tonight will start at 6 p.m. at Bobcat Ballpark.