Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

UTSA confident ahead of upcoming season

Haley Aguayo

The UTSA baseball team is set to play their first series of the year in the comfort of their newly updated Roadrunner Field this weekend. 

“We’re definitely going in the right direction this year. Both on the mound offensively and defensively, I think we have a really good team,” sophomore pitcher Ruger Riojas said. “There’s a lot of great talent in this program compared to last year. We can do what we should have done last year.”

“I think we’d love to get to the 40-win mark this season. Based off the previous two years, I think it’s a very realistic goal for us,” junior utility James Taussig said, referring to their 38-19 overall wins from both the 2022 and 2023 seasons.

Last year, the Roadrunners finished second place just behind Dallas Baptist in Conference USA, played in the C-USA Championship, became a nationally ranked team at No. 75 in the country and even sent a pitcher off to the minor leagues after being drafted to the Cincinnati Reds.

As they head into this 2024 season in an entirely new conference, the men are eager to get the season started as they progress through the American Athletic Conference.

“I think it’s a good move for us,” junior infielder Matt King said. “From a player’s viewpoint, it’s pretty exciting to play some new teams, go to some new ballparks, so I’m ready to take on the challenge. It will be nice to match up with teams that have higher rankings.”

Last year, the AAC’s East Carolina baseball team ended their season at the No. 26 spot in the country. The ‘Runners will get to battle a higher-ranked team firsthand in their second home series of the season this March when ECU will come to UTSA.

“They are just competitive people that enjoy competing against someone that may be slightly more talented than them or at least as talented as them. That’s what drives them,” head coach Pat Hallmark said of his team.

As the team competes against other schools they will also have to adjust to roster changes themselves. Usually on sports teams, newcomers will look to veterans as they seek guidance. With only 17 veteran players and 23 new additions to the team, this year the team will not only have to navigate a new conference but new teammates as well. 

“We might have new people coming in but we still have the same standards,” junior utility Isaiah Walker said of his new team. “We’re trying to build a culture of winning and continue to sustain it.”

“I think we have a very talented team. We have a lot of new guys but I think some fresh faces can bring some success to the program,” Taussig said. “With great pitching, great hitting and great defense, we can certainly put something together.”

UTSA will be playing their first home series throughout this weekend against UT Arlington at Roadrunner Field.

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About the Contributor
Haley Aguayo, Assistant Sports Editor
Haley (she/her) is a senior at UTSA who is majoring in digital communications and minoring in marketing and will be graduating in December 2024. She joined The Paisano in the spring of 2023 and primarily writes for the sports section. Haley has since become the assistant sports editor at The Paisano. After she graduates, she hopes to work in sports journalism or do in-house marketing for a professional sports team.

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