Tarleton State University

02/19/2024 | News release | Distributed by Public on 02/19/2024 22:03

Tarleton State Baseball hosts UTSA for 2024 home opener Tuesday evening


The Teams: Tarleton State (1-2,0-0 WAC) vs. UTSA (2-2,0-0 AAC)
Where: Stephenville, Texas
Ballpark: Tarleton Baseball Complex
Day and Time: Tuesday, 4 P.M. CT
Streaming Platform: ESPN+
About the Matchup
Probable Starting Pitchers

TAR RHP [Jr., 28.1 IP, 2-3, 5.08 ERA (2023 season stats)] vs. UTSA RHP Drake Smith [Jr., 1.0 IP, 0-0, 0.00 ERA]
Game Notes
•The Texans will host the Roadrunners for the 2024 home opener.
• The Texans welcome a new head coach in the 2024 season, Fuller Smith.
• Coach Smith is accompanied by Nick Zaleski, RD Spiehs and Cody Semler in their inaugural year with the Texan Baseball program.
• The 2024 Texan Baseball program is comprised of 21 returners and 19 newcomers.
• The Purple and White kicked off the 2024 season with a three game series against Southeastern Louisiana. •Tarleton State took game 1 with a 9-4 final. Game 2 went to the Lions with a 2-0 shut out. The third and final game saw the Texans down 5-2 to close out the weekend in Hammond.
• Junior claimed the first home run of the season in Game 3 against SLU.

Quick Hits
•The Texans will host the Roadrunners for the 2024 home opener.
• The Texans welcome a new head coach in the 2024 season, Fuller Smith.
• Coach Smith is accompanied by Nick Zaleski, RD Spiehs and Cody Semler in their inaugural year with the Texan Baseball program.
• The 2024 Texan Baseball program is comprised of 21 returners and 19 newcomers.
• The Purple and White kicked off the 2024 season with a three game series against Southeastern Louisiana.
Tarleton State took game 1 with a 9-4 final. Game 2 went to the Lions with a 2-0 shut out. The third and
final game saw the Texans down 5-2 to close out the weekend in Hammond.
• Junior claimed the first home run of the season in Game 3 against SLU.
• claimed a spot on the 2024 Preseason All-WAC Team.
• The WAC Coaches poll saw Tarleton picked to finish 9th out of 11.
• Texan Baseball saw their first season opening victory this past weekend with their first game under new head coach Fuller Smith.
• In the previous season, Tarleton State saw their best record since 2018, when the Purple and White claimed the LSC Championship and closed out the year with a record of 35-17.
• The 2023 season saw Tarleton State claim their first win over a Power Five in program history. The Texans took down the Baylor Bears in Waco, Texas, on April 25 with a 6-2 final.
• Right handed pitcher, Will Stevens was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 15th round of the MLB Draft. Stevens takes the slot as the ninth Texan in program history to be selected in the MLB's first year player draft.

Fuller Smith Era
ON JUNE 8, 2023, FULLER SMITH WAS NAMED THE NEWEST LEADER OF TARLETON STATE'S BASEBALL PROGRAM. THE ALABAMA, NATIVE, HAS HAD A HAND IN THE SUCCESS OF VARIOUS PROGRAMS, SEVERAL OF WHICH THE TEXANS WILL FACE IN CONFERENCE PLAY. IN THE PREVIOUS SEASON, SMITH WRAPPED UP HIS THREE YEAR STINT AS AN ASSISTANT COACH FOR SAM HOUSTON STATE UNIVERSITY. PRIOR TO HIS TIME IN HUNTSVILLE, SMITH SPENT SIX SEASONS AT UT ARLINGTON AS AN ASSISTANT COACH AND RECRUITING COORDINATOR. THE 2008 OLE MISS GRADUATE HAS A PLETHORA OF EXPERIENCE THAT WILL BE A CORE SOURCE OF SUCCESS FOR THE PURPLE AND WHITE THIS SEASON.
First Power 5 Victory
With a 6-2 win over Baylor in Waco, Texas, on Tuesday, April 25, 2023, Tarleton baseball picked up its first win over a Power Five team in program history. The Texans struck first in the first inning and never gave the lead up. played a big part in the win, striking out a season-high 10 in 5.0 innings of work, walking none. McElyea threw a first pitch strike to 18 of 23 batters he faced.

In the Box
A handful of returners have put up some impressive stats in the 2023 season and have proven to be a leading force for the Texans at the plate. leads the team with an impressive .365 batting average. Senior holds the top numbers in runs (43), hits (64), doubles (16), and triples (4). recorded a .487 on base per- centage in the 2023 season to lead the Purple and White.
Facility Upgrades
The Tarleton Baseball Complex saw a significant facelift in the offseason. Capacity was increased with the complex now seating over 1,000. A cantilever roof structure providing cover was added and a new press box was installed. This comes after new turf, lights and outfield wall were installed prior to the 2022 season. This scope was phase two for the baseball facility that will continue to see renovations over the coming months.

Strength in Numbers
With a 40 man roster in the 2024 season, the Texans have a great balance of experience within the program. The Tarleton State roster is made up of nine freshman, five sophomores, 15 juniors, and 10 seniors. Out of the 25 upperclassmen on the team, only nine are new to Texan Nation.

Next Up
Following the season opener against the Road- runners, the Texans will continue their time at home as the host of the series against Northern Colorado. The Purple and White will play on Friday at 3 p.m. Saturday will see back-to-back games with a double header starting at 1 p.m. and the second game presumably at 4 p.m. The series will wrap up with a Sunday meeting at noon. All games within the series can be found on ESPN+.

Preseason recognition
To kick off the season, Senior, found his name on the 2024 Preseason All-WAC Team. The Madisonville, Texas, native is a strong arm for the Texans leading the team with the best ERA and WHIP, in 2023. The right-handed pitcher also led the team in appearances for the third consecutive season with 23, all out of the bullpen.
Broadcasting On the Worldwide Leader
Part of the latest renovations to the Tarleton Baseball Complex and Tarleton Softball Complex included the capability to match ESPN standards of multiple camera angles on the broadcast. With that, Tarleton will stream select 2024 baseball and softball home games on ESPN+. All games that are not broadcasted on ESPN+ will be broadcasted on WAC International.
WAC Preseason Poll
Tarleton was chosen to finish ninth out of 11 schools in the WAC preseason poll. The poll was released on Feb. 6. The Texans received 34 total votes and was slotted in ahead of Stephen F. Austin and Utah Tech. Grand Canyon was picked to win the league, followed by Utah Valley and California Baptist.
Hometown hero
is a Stephenville, Texas, native, that has made a large impact on the Texan Baseball program. The outfielder does a stellar job in the box
in the 2023 season leading the Purple and White with a .365 average at the plate. In his first two seasons at Tarleton, Morrison has started in 57 games and made saw time in a total of 68 matchups. The junior has amassed 97 put outs, with only two errors in two years for a .981 fielding percentage. Morrison's experience as a lifelong Texan paired with his consistent dedication to the game makes him a key player for Tarleton Baseball.