College Baseball: Bobcats bounce back against Tulane
After seven and half innings of scoreless baseball, it was fairly evident that Texas State’s Saturday afternoon game against Tulane was going down to the wire.
Standout pitching performances from Texas State’s sophomore right-hander Taylor Black and Tulane’s Alex Byo — each allowing only one hit through the first six innings — set the low-scoring tone, which the Bobcats were able to break out of in the bottom of the eighth for a 2-0 win in the team’s second game of the CenturyLink Classic.
With runners at first and second and one out, Texas State’s Brooks Orton broke the deadlock when his grounder to second was misplayed, allowing Morgan Mickan to score. Senior catcher Andrew Stumph added an insurance run with his RBI sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Garrett Mattlage.
“It’s always fun to be the guy who comes up in big situations,” Stumph, who fouled off six pitches in the at-bat, said. “I just tried to remain patient and it worked out today.”
After watching his team suffer a 3-2, 11-inning loss in the Classic opener against Missouri State, Texas State head coach Ty Harrington was pleased to see his offense come through in a timely manner against Tulane — a noteworthy program which was a fixture in the NCAA playoffs from 1998 to 2008.
“We’re still growing offensively and we know we still have a long ways to go,” Harrington said. “But I thought we did a better job battling as the game went on and we made the plays we needed to make at the end.”
Black pitched 7 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball with four hits and seven strikeouts with two walks. His counterpart, Byo, gave up four runs over seven innings with seven strikeouts and no walks.
“I felt like with the way Taylor came out and their guy came out, it was going to be a close game,” Harrington said. “I thought Taylor showed tremendous competitive spirit considering how good their guy pitched today.”
Sophomore right-hander Austen Williams complemented Black’s outing by retiring the side in the top of the ninth (including two strikeouts) to secure the win. With regular reliever Hunter Lemke out after throwing two innings the night before, Williams got the call and made the most of it.
“It’s hard to look away from what I just saw, which was a guy got out there, throw strike one and stay away from long counts,” Harrington said. “He stepped into that moment today and there will be something on down the line to where we can’t run from what his performance just looked like.”
The Bobcats cap Classic play today with a 3 p.m. game against former Southland Conference rival Sam Houston State.
“They have the same team they had last year which was an at-large regional team,” Harrington said. “It will be a nostalgic game a minute before the first pitch. Other than that it will be a just another baseball game.”