Leadership, experience have Texas State’s hopes high entering 2018 season

Photo by Gerald Castillo

Texas State Baseball

Jonathan Ortega believes Texas State should win the Sun Belt this season. 

Not only does the junior second baseman think the Bobcats can win the conference, but he envisions playing in a super regional, and has hopes on making a trip to the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska. 

“We have set our goals to go to a super regional and go one-on-one with a team in a three-game series and see where it goes from there,” Ortega said at Texas State’s preseason press conference on Tuesday. 

The Bobcats begin the 2018 campaign on Friday in a three-game series against Oklahoma State. Texas State, which is coming off a 29-30 season, has high hopes entering the new year

The Bobcats’ source of hope comes from their leadership and experience. 

Texas State head coach Ty Harrington said the Bobcats there are two types of experience - Experience from failure and experience from success. After last season, where the Bobcats began the season well but tailed off, Harrington believes this year’s squad will be able to use its experience through last year’s successes and failures. 

“I’m hoping that they use that experience in different times where they didn’t succeed or had failure a year ago to be able to use it to be successful,” Harrington said. 

Additionally, the Bobcats return multiple starters to their lineup. Texas State has its infield returning with senior shortstop Luke Sherley, junior third baseman Jaylen Hubbard, junior first baseman Ryan Newman and Ortega. Sherley said it’s huge to have that type of experience on the team. 

 “It’s pretty rare at the college level that you get to play with same guys for three straight years and we have that this year,” Sherley said. “Up the middle with J.O. (Jonathan Ortega), it’s almost like I know where he is before. We just have that chemistry. To my right, I have Jaylen Hubbard, who has, I put his range up against any third baseman in the conference. It’s huge.”

The Bobcats have seen tremendous growth in leadership this season. Harrington, Sherley and Ortega believe the leadership on the team is strong.

“I think this year is probably the most leadership I’ve ever seen since I’ve been here in my three years,” Ortega said. 

With the season beginning on Friday, the Bobcats are ready for opening weekend. Texas State is using last year’s disappointing season to fuel it to a successful 2018. 

“We were really disappointed with how last season ended,” Sherley said. “We all felt like we were a regional, super regional team and we didn’t perform that way. So, I think, in our preparation starting back in August all the way up until now, we’ve all had one goal in mind that’s to go out and execute and at the end of the season look up and be in a super regional.”

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