SAN MARCOS—The college baseball season is winding down, as Texas State finds themselves fighting to make the playoffs.
With a 30-16 (12-9) record, the Bobcats currently sit in fourth place in the Sun Belt Conference. In the team’s 3-game series from April 21-23, they took to the road to face off against their conference foe Troy. After dropping the first two games to the Trojans, the team was able to salvage game three to avoid the sweep.
Their focus is now shifted to an April 25 contest against the Prairie View A&M Panthers at Bobcat Ballpark.
The 17-27 (13-7) Panthers were coming into San Marcos as underdogs, but the Bobcats still needed to take care of business on their end. After a scoreless top of the first, the team would take the lead in the bottom of the inning on a solo home run by junior shortstop Davis Powell.
The Bobcats would never relinquish this lead, eventually winning by a score of 7-2. By the end of the game, Powell had collected four hits, including a three RBI performance, to lead the squad.
“I just wanted to keep it simple and attack mistakes in the middle of the field,” Powell said. It ended up paying off.”
Junior Peyton Zabel, who received the starting nod as the game’s hurler, pitched six scoreless innings while racking up three strikeouts. Zabel’s six innings of work was the furthest he had pitched into a game as a starter this season. He was able to effectively mix his pitches, which resulted in soft contact from the Panther lineup.
“(Chad) Massengale called a good game and I just tried to execute pitch by pitch,” Zabel said. “I got the slider going early, and I’ve just been trying to get better every outing.”
A weather delay early on in Zabel’s start forced him and the rest of the team back into the dugout until the rain subsided. For some teams, rain delays can stunt any positive momentum. Zabel, however, maintained his effectiveness on the mound once play resumed.
“Obviously stuff like (the rain delay) is never fun, but it’s a part of the game,” Zabel said. “Honestly, I just tried to treat it like it was a long offensive inning. I just focused on going back out and going through my routines, getting back centered and everything like that.”
Zabel’s battery-mate was first-year catcher Rashawn Galloway, who had a productive game of his own. Galloway made the most of his opportunities at the plate, as he ended up tallying three hits in his four plate appearances.
“I was just basing my approach off the guy ahead of me, and what they were attacking him with,” Galloway said. “It’s been about knowing what I struggled with in the beginning of the season and turning those weaknesses into strengths.”
The majority of games Galloway has appeared in so far have been as designated hitter, but in this game, he was able to get some experience calling the game for the team’s pitching staff.
“I feel sharper behind the plate, and I’ve grown a lot since the fall working with our catching coach Jerry (Cervantez),” Galloway said. “Getting in game experience is something you can’t replicate, so getting the opportunity to play right now is helping me out.”
Galloway dealt with the early rain delay alongside Zabel, but said he was confident that the execution between the two would not be affected.
“I had to get my arm loose just a tad, but we were always locked in,” Galloway said. “We just had to make sure that we kept the same gameplan before the delay and we just kept on going.”
The team once again traveled out of state for their next series, as they went to Virginia to face the 28-15 (11-10) Old Dominion Monarchs in a three-game series from April 28-30.
Davis Powell hopes the team can carry their recent momentum into this upcoming conference clash.
“We just have to keep the same approach,” Powell said. “We had a lot of barrels that were caught and hopefully that can translate to this weekend.”
The Bobcats would end up winning the series by taking two of three games. On May 2, the team returned home to host the University of Incarnate Word. They would prevail by a score of 10-5.
Conference play resumes for the team on May 5, as the team hosts 24-22 (11-10) Georgia State in another three-game series.
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