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 Series Thread - Vs. ULM 
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Post Series Thread - Vs. ULM
After it's first losing week since February, the Texas State Bobcats return to Bobcat Ballpark for a 3-game conference series with the ULM Warhawks. Because of the Holiday Weekend this series will be played Thursday through Saturday so the teams can have Easter Sunday off. The threat of weather looms so stay tuned for possible changes to the schedule. Also, the Maroon & Gold Spring Game is Saturday at 11am. Get to San Marcos early for the spring game and stick around for game 3 of the ULM series scheduled for 1pm that day. This will be the 3rd straight season TXST has hosted ULM (kind of bullshit for them). TXST is 5-1 over those two series getting a sweep last year. None of these 3 games will be televised. Will be radio/live stats if you want to follow.

Schedule/Probable Pitching Matchups:
Thursday - 6pm:
#41 RHP Connor Reich (2-2, 4.78 ERA) vs. #12 RHP Josh Leone (1-4, 5.06 ERA)
Friday - 6pm:
#18 LHP Wes Engle (2-1, 5.23 ERA) vs. #51 RHP Chase Beal (3-3, 4.05 ERA)
Saturday - 1pm:
#36 RHP Nicholas Fraze (3-1, 4.70 ERA) vs. #32 RHP Derek Martin (0-1, 4.50 ERA)

Bobcats Outlook:
Texas State is coming off it's worst week since February, losing 2 of 3 at Little Rock last weekend before falling 9-2 to Texas in Austin Tuesday night. The series loss to Little Rock is the 2nd straight Sun Belt series loss for the Bobcats after starting league play at 5-1. The Bobcats now sit in a tie for 3rd in the West Division with a 7-5 conference record. The Bobcats are 20-14 overall and have an RPI of 137.

Warhawks Outlook:
ULM is coming off an 0-3 week after being swept by South Alabama in Monroe last weekend. The Warhawks should have a well rested bullpen as their game scheduled for Tuesday night against Louisiana Tech was rained out. ULM is 4-8 in league play which puts them at 6th place (last) in the West Division. Their 9-25 overall record is the worst in the Sun Belt and their RPI of 232 is 2nd to worst in the league (Little Rock, who took 2 of 3 from the Bobcats last weekend, has the worst RPI in the Sun Belt). ULM is coming into this game on a big losing streak, having lost 6 straight and 8 of their last 9. They haven't won a game since a 5-4 win over Georgia Southern in Statesboro on April Fools' Day.

Bobcats Pitching:
Texas State will use the same weekend rotation it has used in every conference series so far. The Reich/Engle/Fraze rotation has been used every weekend since the Coastal Carolina series which started on March 17th. Reich and Fraze have been pretty solid lately but Engle has had a couple rough starts in a row over the last couple weekends. I thought there was a chance we'd see Fraze move up to the #2 spot this week but we will keep the same rotation. Engle desperately needs a good start on Friday.

Despite a bad start from mid-week starter Cam Baird against UT on Tuesday, the bullpen should be fairly well rested. Pagano threw 41 pitches in relief and may be the only reliever unavailable on Thursday. He should be good to go by Friday if needed. Pagano and Brandon Courville seem to be the two in the bullpen we like to use in long relief situations so Courville should be available Thursday if Reich has a bad outing and can't make it to the later innings. No other reliever threw more than 23 pitches vs. the Longhorns.

We didn't use either of our favorite arms to use in the backend of the bullpen on Tuesday in Brayden Theriot and closer Blake Walden. Both should be fully rested going into this ULM series. Walden has been shaky lately, but Theriot has looked really sharp lately.

Warhawks Pitching:
The Warhawks have the worst team ERA in the Sun Belt at 6.40 and it's not even close to the 2nd worst with Georgia State at 5.65 (The Bobcats are 3rd worst at 5.36).

Josh Leone will be making his 9th start for the Warhawks and has been a season long weekend guy for ULM. Leone has pitched 42.2 innings through his 8 starts, accumulating a 5.06 ERA and a 1-4 record. He's struck out 30, walked 11, and allows a .252 batting average.
Chase Beal is also a season long starter for the Warhawks making his 9th start also through the first 9 weeks of the season. Through 46.2 innings he has a 4.05 ERA and a 3-3 record. He's struck out 36 and walked 17 and allows a .295 batting average. Derek Martin rounds out the weekend rotation for the Warhawks. Martin is making just his 3rd start of the season and has only pitched 4 innings through 2 previous appearances on the season. I'm making an educated guess that Martin was out injured for most of the season. Through 4 innings he has an 0-1 record, has struck out 2 and walked 2 and allows a .333 batting average. He's only faced 15 batters on the season.

The Warhawks have a solid closer in Anthony Herrera. Herrera has 4 saves in 12 appearances with a 1.44 ERA through 25 innings pitched. He has struck out 29 and only walked 4 batters on the season. He has a 0.88 WHIP and opponents bat just .200 off Herrera. We probably don't want to let ULM get Herrera the ball with a lead. Tyler Schwaner is probably the only other reliever of note. He's pitched 22 innings and has 17 appearances on the season with a 4.91 ERA. He's struck out 19, walked 13, and allows opponents to hit .308. Other than Herrera the Warhawks bullpen is very weak.

Bobcats Hitting:
The big question offensively going into this series is the health of 2nd baseman Jonathan Ortega. JO didn't start for the first time in his TXST career Sunday at Little Rock and did not play in the field Tuesday at Texas. Mickey Scott has started the last two games at 2nd for the Bobcats while Ortega was able to DH Tuesday in Austin. Harrington said prior to the Texas game that Ortega has a leg injury and is about 65-70% healthy. Scott has looked adequate defensively at 2nd the last couple games (though he had 2 errors early in the season when Sherley was injured) but is a liability offensively. The JR infielder has the worst batting average on the team of anyone with more than 2 ABs at just .154 on the season. Over the last 2 games, Scott has gone 1 for 7 at the plate with a walk, 1 RBI, and 3 strikeouts. He's only slugging .179 and has a .283 OBP on the season. Obviously it would benefit us to have Ortega in the field to keep Scott out of the lineup, but the long term health of Ortega is more important. It will be interesting to see if Ortega or Scott start at 2nd Thursday night. Another option may be to put Almendarez at 2nd and Paul in LF if Ortega can't go to get more punch out of the lineup offensively.

Teddy Hoffman has been on fire lately and is starting to solidify himself as the best hitter in the lineup. The Jr. right fielder now leads the team in batting average, hits, homers, RBI, total bases, and slugging. His .374 average is 2nd in the Sun Belt to USA's Travis Swaggerty, his 55 hits leads the Sun Belt and is 3rd nationally, his 11 homers are 2nd in the league to CCU's Kevin Woodall, and he leads the league in slugging at .673.

Cole Coffey has seemed to distance himself from Travon Benton as the best left-handed option to DH for TXST. If Ortega can play in the field expect Coffey to DH most of this series as ULM is throwing 3 righties. The freshman Coffey has brought his average up to a respectable .281 after a tough start to the season. Benton meanwhile has plummeted down to .208.

Warhawks Hitting:
ULM is 8th in hitting in the Sun Belt (TXST is 2nd) with a .263 team average.
Jr. Catcher Spencer Hemphill leads the team with a .318 average. Hemphill isn't much of a power threat however with no homers and a .373 slugging percentage. 9 of his 35 hits have gone for doubles. Utility player Chad Bell is hitting .305 and has 4 homers to his name this season. Jr. Infielder Turner Francis is the 3rd player to watch for ULM. He also is batting .305 and has 4 doubles, 2 triples, and 2 homers. ULM's offense is near the bottom of multiple statistics in the conference. Fewest runs scored in the league, fewest RBI in the league, by far the fewest walks in the league (we unfortunately should help this statistic for them), 3rd fewest homers in the league, and 3rd lowest OBP in the league. They also don't run very much and have the fewest stolen base attempts in the league with only 22 attempts on the season.


Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:00 pm
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True Bobcat Fan

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Post Re: Series Thread - Vs. ULM
So the La Tech @ ULM game that was postponed last night was postponed in the 4th inning due to rain.

Interesting article on the situation below. Obviously these schools hate each other, and it's obvious La Tech still thinks they are too good for ULM.

La Tech is pretty universally hated by Sun Belt fans for their unjustified elitist attitude. Plenty of that in this article.

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/diamond-dogs-lead-ulm-calls-171145929.html


Wed Apr 12, 2017 4:41 pm
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Post Re: Series Thread - Vs. ULM
Well. Lose game 1 in heartbreaking fashion. And to add injury to insult Newman could have gotten seriously injured in the process.

Reich had the best start of the season probably through 8. TXST had a 4-1 lead going into the 9th inning. Reich had only given up 3 hits up to that point. Reich came back out for the 9th, which I thought was the right move considering how he was throwing it, and got the first batter to ground out for the first out. Reich then gave up 3 straight singles, none of which were hard hit and had to get through holes in our infield, to load the bases. Reich left the game for Theriot and the first batter hit a single on the ground up the middle to make it 4-3. Another single loaded the bases again with one out. Then a softly hit ground ball to SS scored the tying run as the ball was hit so softly the only play was at 1st. Runner stepped on Newman's ankle on the throw and Newman had to be removed from the game. He was helped off the field and wasn't putting much weight on the ankle. Asked after the game about the play Harrington declined to comment saying he wanted to review the play, which to me means they want to see if the ULM runner purposefully stepped on Newman or not. There was some argument with ULM's 3rd base coach and someone from our dugout, presumably Trout or Fikac as Harrington was out on the field with Newman at the time. Another single up the middle gave ULM a 6-4 lead. We got one back in the bottom of the 9th but stranded a runner at 2nd to lose 6-5.

We gave up 3 hits through the first 8 innings then gave up 6 in the 9th. All singles and none hit particularly hard. I think 4 were ground balls that found gaps in the infield and two were line drives through the infield. Terrible way to lose a game we dominated through 8.

Our RPI took a 21 spot hit down to 158 and I'm probably done checking it as we've fallen so far in the past 2 weeks that it probably doesn't matter anymore. Down to 7-6 in league play now after starting 5-1. Still tied for 3rd in west division.

Game 2 at 6pm tonight with Engle getting the start for TXST. He's been struggling over his last two starts.


Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:07 am
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Post Re: Series Thread - Vs. ULM
ouch.

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Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:26 am
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Post Re: Series Thread - Vs. ULM
I think I've seen enough of Engle for the season. If he can't throw strikes there is no point to playing him anymore. I know that is harsh but .........


Fri Apr 14, 2017 7:29 pm
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well, we win Sunday and salvage the series 3 to 2. Too, bad the first game got away from us. Still trying to figure out our pitching. Keep an eye on Bosse. It appears that we will need to win the SunBelt tournament to get a bid. We are now playing to get a better seed in the SunBelt tournament.

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Sat Apr 15, 2017 5:42 pm
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Post Re: Series Thread - Vs. ULM
Chippy series all weekend as there was some bad blood carried over from the incident in the 9th on Thursday.

We threw at the guy who ran into (or onto) Newman in his first at bat in the 2nd inning on Friday night. Engle beaned him in the right shoulder. Umpire immediately issued bench warnings to both benches. First pitch in the bottom of the 2nd they throw at Almendarez. Pretty sure you have to eject the ULM pitcher there considering you just issued warnings, but they didn't.

Ty got tossed in the 2nd inning on Saturday's game arguing balls and strikes. I think it was more about what he thought about the umpiring throughout the course of the whole weekend though. If I made out what he said correctly it was "that's embarrassing!!! Be a better umpire!!!". In the top of the 9th with 2 outs and nobody on the guy who collided with Newman came up to bat. We played "I'm a Barbie girl" over the speakers as he walked to the plate. Bosse struck him out and bowed up on him screaming. If these teams meet in the conference tournament expect some intensity, particularly if Newman's injury is serious.

Newman didn't return for the rest of the series. Benton played 1st on both Friday and Saturday. No idea how severe his injury is.

Glad we were able to take this series after dropping a heartbreaker on Thursday. We hit the road for the rest of April now. UT again on Tuesday night and at Troy next weekend. I think it's time to move Fraze up to Saturday next weekend and drop Engle to Sunday. Engle has struggled with control 3 starts in a row now. With the games this series all moved up a day Fraze could still get his normal rest between games if he moves into the #2 slot next week.


Sun Apr 16, 2017 9:29 am
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Post Re: Series Thread - Vs. ULM
Could anyone see if the ulm player spiked Newman on purpose or did Newman step on the back of the bag or what? For Harrington and the team to react the way they did it makes one think that either they think it was on purpose or Newman is hurt pretty seriously.

I don't think I would make a very good manager because I just don't have the patience for certain things. A pitcher who can't throw strikes is one of them. I would like to see Baird be the sunday starter and Leigh on tuesdays for the rest of the season. I agree Fraze should be the saturday starter.


Sun Apr 16, 2017 3:56 pm
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Post Re: Series Thread - Vs. ULM
Baird walked 6 guys in 2.2 innings at UT on Tuesday. He's been struggling with his control a bit lately also.

I think it's too late in the season to experiment with Leigh as a starter. Other than one game during the Purdue series he hasn't pitched more than an inning in an appearance all year. He's not a big dude either and those smaller pitchers tend to wear down easily. I'm fully on board with more relief appearances though. And I think he's got future starter written all over him. Could be as early as next year. Would like to see him put a few lbs of muscle on and get that fastball up to 95-96.


Sun Apr 16, 2017 9:49 pm
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Post Re: Series Thread - Vs. ULM
Baird had been improving up to that point. I honestly believe the umpire was the main difference. I don't remember how many pitches Baird made that were strikes and called balls. Either way I get your point.

I see your point about Leigh.

Btw, there are several other freshmen pitchers listed on the roster. I wonder if they just don't have the talent or is there some other reason they can't get into a single game. Anyone know?


Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:10 pm
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Post Re: Series Thread - Vs. ULM
cgd469 wrote:
Btw, there are several other freshmen pitchers listed on the roster. I wonder if they just don't have the talent or is there some other reason they can't get into a single game. Anyone know?


Probably redshirting most of those guys. Some possibly could be injured also.

Calvin Bush - So. - Made a few relief appearances last year but 0 appearances this year. Probable redshirt at this point.
Jack Woodland - Fr. - Probable redshirt
Adam Ivey - Fr. - Probable redshirt
Weston Seay - RS Fr. - Either hurt or not good enough considering he redshirted last year
Noah Walker - Fr. - Probable redshirt


Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:32 pm
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