April 2, 2012

Texas State looks to even the season series with Baylor

Texas State is looking for another big mid-week win and to even the season series with Baylor when they visit the Bears in Waco on Tuesday afternoon. First pitch has been moved up to 3:05 to avoid conflicting with the NCAA women's national championship game.

This game kicks off a tough nine game road stretch that could make or break Texas State's season. The Bobcats are coming off a week which saw them sweep the Oregon Ducks and take two of three from the McNeese State Cowboys in San Marcos. Texas State is now 18-10 overall, but just 6-6 in Southland Conference play. This puts them four games behind the first place Sam Houston State BearKats. At this stage of the season, four games is not an insurmountable deficit. Realistically, Texas State is going to have to keep winning mid week games against quality opponents or take their chances in the conference tournament if they hope to earn a spot in a regional. This makes games like the one the Bobcats will play tomorrow that much more important.

The Bobcats currently have an RPI of 28 and have resume padding games against Baylor (2), Texas, Rice & Texas A&M remaining. With Northwestern State, Sam Houston State, Southeastern Louisiana and Texas State all having good seasons so far, this is the deepest we have seen the Southland Conference in a long time. Some are even predicting three bids for the league this year. This may be a stretch, but certainly not outside the realm of possibility. At least one of those four teams is staying home, and probably two minimum. The Bobcats need wins now, and are on the cusp of having to hope someone else takes a tumble. Luckily, Texas State hasn't played Southeastern Louisiana and Northwestern State yet. Unluckily, both of those series will take place in Louisiana.

Getting a win in Waco will be no easy task for Texas State, as the Baylor Bears have been red hot of late. They have rolled off eleven straight wins since dropping a 5-4 decision at UT Arlington March 13th. Baylor is 22-7 overall, 18-3 at home and 9-0 in Big 12 play this season. The Bears' win streak is their longest since winning eleven straight during the 2003 season. They are hitting .297 as a team and their 1-5 hitters all boast averages over .300. Pitching isn't Baylor's weakness either as the staff has a tidy 3.11 ERA.

Things didn't turn out too well for the Bobcats last time they faced Baylor. Five Bear pitchers combined to limit Texas State to one run and four hits, and Baylor left the Dell Diamond in Round Rock with a 5-1 victory. Luckily Oklahoma State took them to thirteen innings on Sunday and they used three more pitchers in extra duty. Texas State will need to catch a few breaks to topple Baylor at home. Lamar caught a couple in taking two of three off the Bears this time last month.

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