UTSA’s new favorite pastime

Logan Martinez, Contributor

Often touted as “just a football school,” countless UTSA sports programs have received little to no recognition from outside analysts and reporters. 

With football set to defend two-straight conference titles when entering the American Athletic Conference this fall, it’s easy to overlook the success of this spring’s baseball squad. After losing in the Conference USA championship last season and currently cruising to a league-best 28-8 record, many fans proclaim the baseball program as the new darling on campus. 

Led by the superb coaching of Pat Hallmark and the bombing bat of Antonio Valdez, the ‘Runners have high hopes as they look to qualify for the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2013. Sitting atop Conference USA at 12-2, UTSA baseball has officially put its name on the Division I college baseball map.

The team’s 38-20 record in the 2022 breakout season propelled the Roadrunners for their national exposure in 2023. The program received a national ranking at No. 25 for the first time in the program’s history. No longer is the university “just a football school,” as smart hitting and clutch pitching have allowed the program to emerge as a truly dominant force.

Helping to do so are star players Valdez and Simon Miller. Valdez, batting at a team-high .401 average, also leads the team in both RBIs and hits for the season. Meanwhile, on the mound, reliever Miller finds himself ranked No. 9 in the nation, leading all relievers with an ERA of 0.55. Surrounded by a plethora of talent, such as infielder Barry Leyton and starter Luke Malone, the future looks bright for the club as they continue on their dominant conference run.

The Roadrunners’ stellar play has not only done wonders for this season but for future baseball seasons as well. With high-level analysts taking note of the club’s success, high-ranking recruits will soon find themselves also taking note. With back-to-back winning seasons in the books, it is highly anticipated that coach Hallmark’s recruiting will improve exponentially in the foreseeable future. If UTSA continues to build on its last two successful seasons, the baseball program could soon be mentioned in high-level baseball colleges such as Vanderbilt, Texas and Kentucky. Though there is certainly a long way to go, it goes without saying that UTSA baseball is here to stay.