More than 15 scouts from Major League Baseball teams were in attendance Friday afternoon at Bobcat Ballpark when Texas State opened its 2013 season against Missouri State in the CenturyLink Bobcat Invitational. One of the main reasons they were there was Texas State junior pitcher Kyle Finnegan — and he put on a show.
Texas State junior pitcher Kyle Finnegan struck out 11 batters in Saturday’s 3-2 loss (Daily Record Photo by Gerald Castillo).
Despite a few control problems, Finnegan dazzled in his six-inning stint during a 3-2 loss. Finnegan struck out 11, walked four and allowed two earned runs. At least seven of Finnegan’s strikeouts came by way of his fastball, which topped out at 97-miles per hour.
“We were kind of setting it up to where the fastball would be the out pitch,” Finnegan said. “They were calling outside fastballs and I just tried to hit my spots.”
As the season progresses, Finnegan should continue to move up teams’ draft boards. As a sophomore, Finnegan struck out 75 batters in 93.1 innings, including 12 in a 5-0 win over Notre Dame. Finnegan received an invite to the Cape Cod League last summer, where he sat down 46 hitters in 39.1 innings and posted a 6.41 ERA.
“It was a great experience,” Finnegan said. “Playing with the best in the country kind of forces you to become a better player. I was able to learn a lot and work on the change-up a lot. That’s all helped me.”
While Finnegan seemed ready for opening day, the Bobcats’ offense did not.
Texas State stranded 12 runners and only collected four hits. There were multiple opportunities for the Bobcats to win the game, including a spot in the bottom of the ninth where sophomore second baseman Colby Targun had men on second and third with two outs (after a double steal), but they failed to come through. Targun struck out on a 3-2 count with the bat on his shoulder.
“We gave ourselves chances … to score and didn’t take advantage,” Texas State head coach Ty Harrington said. “We have to do a better job offensively, no question.”