College Baseball: TXST, A&M meet in San Marcos

Members of the Texas State baseball team celebrate a walk-off win against Texas A&M back on March 30, 2010. It was a game-winning RBI single by former Bobcat outfielder Laurn Randell that gave Texas State a 6-5 victory. It was the first time the Bobcats hosted the Aggies and it was in front of a record-setting crowd (File Photo).

When temperatures rise, there are certain places people like to go in town.

On Thursdays, families flock to the Summer in the Park concert series for live music and to catch up with old friends.

Then on weekends, residents and students alike head to the local rivers for their share of floating — with or without adult beverages in hand.

But what about Tuesday nights? Well, if tonight is any indication; Bobcat Ballpark is going to be rocking.

“When we have a home game, we made our ballpark the place to be on Tuesday,” Texas State head coach Ty Harrington said. “It’s a place where people — not only students, but city and state dignitaries and our loyal season-ticket holders — go to hang out, watch the game and socialize.

“It’s a special place to watch college baseball. It’s taken a lot of work to get to that point and we wouldn’t have it any other way.”

When the Bobcats take the field tonight against Texas A&M in front of a sold-out crowd, they’ll look to recreate the magic from three years ago.

Back on March 30, 2010, Texas State capped a thrilling extra-inning victory when then-senior outfielder Laurn Randell ripped a game-winning single. Randell’s hit gave the Bobcats a 6-5 win in front of a school-record crowd of 2,603 fans.

“I don’t know how to truly put into words how that moment felt,” Harrington said. “Whoever was there that night would probably say the same thing.”

Since then, Texas State hasn’t been too successful in games with the Aggies. Texas A&M beat the Bobcats by an average of seven runs over their last two meetings, including a 15-5 drubbing on May 10, 2011.

Fast forward two years and it turns out Texas State and the Aggies are in quite similar situations.

Each team got hit hard by graduation and players defecting to the MLB Draft, which left the Bobcats and Texas A&M to fight through their first seasons in a new conference (WAC and SEC, respectively) with a younger team. Texas State recently dropped two out of three games at San Jose State, while the Aggies were handed two losses by Arkansas.

“They’re youthful and like us, they’re trying to get better every day,” Harrington said. “We’re both a work in progress, us more so than them. We’re just trying to continue to get to a level where we consistently compete.”

Momentum might be in the Bobcats’ corner after Sunday’s 11-5 win over the Spartans. Texas State pounded out 19 hits and every batter not named Tyler Pearson, who went 0 for 5, collected multiple base knocks.

“I’m encouraged with things we did this weekend from an offensive standpoint,” Harrington said. “We knew they’d given up some hits and runs, so we just had to be able to hold them in check and that didn’t happen.”

Harrington should have a trio of pitchers from which to pick to start tonight’s game. Former Saturday starter Scott Grist, junior Donnie Hart and freshman Lucas Humpal could all get the nod to throw the first pitch at 6:30 p.m.