April 10, 2012

Texas State looks for a season sweep of Rice

Justin's keys to the Rice game

Taylor Black cannot pick tonight to come back to earth

After posting huge out of conference wins against TCU and Oregon, Black is 2-0 with an ERA ofjust 0.90 this season. However, both of those wins were inside the friendly confines of Bobcat Ballpark. It is unrealistic to assume that his ERA is not due to rise at some stage. Given how inconsistent Texas State's lineup has been against quality pitching this season, Black needs to continue to pitch out of his mind if the Bobcats are going to leave Reckling Park with a season sweep of #9 Rice.

Be patient at the plate

Rice is not sending your typical mid-week pitcher to the mound tonight. The likely starter for Rice tonight is Jordan Stephens. The freshman from Nolan Ryan's hometown of Alvin has been dealing this season. His ERA of just 1.51 is the lowest on the team, is averaging a strikeout per inning,and has not given up a homerun all season. Stephens' Achilles heel is that hecan get wild on occasion. If the Bobcats ca n draw some walks they have a chance to manufacture some runs.

Clutch hitting

If history is any guide, Texas State will not get a ton of chances to score runs tonight against Stephens. The Bobcats need to get clutch hits with runners on base. If not,they could easily get shutout tonight. The team also needs to take advantage of every opportunity they can to get a runner on base.

No runs for Rice in the first inning

Black needs to set the tone early against a very top heavy Rice lineup. The top four hitters for Rice can flat out rake, and Texas State is not built to come from behind against this pitching staff on the road.

Error free baseball

Texas State has committed 37 errors in just 28 games so far this season. Runs will be at a premium tonight and the Bobcats cannot afford any gimmies. The Owls have looked up and down in their games against Sam Houston, Southern Miss, and Tulane as of late.

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