The Texas State’s baseball team will look to extend a six-game winning streak maintain its top position in the Southland Conference this weekend with three games at Northwestern State (NSU).
The Bobcats will play NSU Friday (6:30 p.m.), Saturday (2 p.m.) and Sunday.
The Bobcats are 25-10 overall and 13-5 in league play, holding a two-game edge over second place Sam Houston State and UT Arlington (11-7 SLC). NSU (16-16, 10-7) is in fourth, 2 1/2 games back, while Lamar and Southeastern Louisiana share fifth place at 10-8.
The Bobcats enter the weekend series with the league’s top offense, batting .327 with 301 runs scored and 281 RBI. Spenser Dennis leads the Southland with a .467 batting average, while Bret Atwood and Keith Prestridge rank seventh and eighth at .394 and .389, respectively.
Junior Paul Goldschmidt leads the league in slugging percentage at .732, home runs at 12 and RBI at 60.
Alongside Texas State’s offense is the league’s No. 4 pitching staff with a 4.78 ERA. Senior ace Kane Holbrooks is second in the SLC with a 1.96 ERA and he leads the league with a 7-0 record.
Sunday starter Brian Borski is No. 4 with a 3.14 ERA in 48 2/3 innings pitch. The sophomore, who will make his ninth start this season, is 4-2.
Senior Zach Tritz will break up the pair with a Saturday start. The senior is 5-2 with a 4.44 ERA and a team-best 37 strikeouts. The right-hander is coming off an eight-inning appearance against Southeastern Louisiana, holding the Lions to just three runs on five hits and with four strikeouts.
NSU won two of three last weekend against Texas-San Antonio (UTSA). The Demons are batting .290 as a team. Justin O’Neal is hitting .376 with five home runs, while Chase Lyles is batting .347 with a team-best nine home runs this season.
Slated to face the Bobcats Friday night is Jimmy Heard, who leads the Demons with a 3.34 ERA. The right-hander is 5-1 this season with 48 strikeouts in 56 2/3 innings pitched.
Ben Rodriguez (12.19, 0-3) will take the mound for NSU Saturday, followed by Ryan Zimmerman (0-1, 4.18 ERA) on Sunday.
Texas State owns the all-time series with Northwestern State, 41-35, dating back to 1985. For the past two years, the two teams have not met due to the East and West division match-ups in the league.
In 2006, Texas State owned a 2-1 series at NSU before falling to the foe 9-8 in the elimination game of the SLC Championship Tournament.