College Baseball: Texas State shuts out Baylor, gives Harrington a special win
Texas State head coach Ty Harrington always tells his players to focus on the present or as he says, “To live in the moment.”
Yet after the Bobcats beat Baylor 2-0 on Wednesday night and gave their head coach career win No. 500, Harrington couldn’t help but to talk about the past and about what brought him to that stage.
“I didn’t think it was really going to mean that much, but as it went on I found myself at least thinking about it and I didn’t think that I would,” Harrington said. “My 400th win was at Northwestern State and I had no clue. They dumped water on me and I was like, ‘We just won a game.’ This was nice and I’ll say it 100 more times: There are so many people involved in it and so many great people that have been a part of my life that I’m glad we all get to share it.”
Exactly three years to the day since Harrington earned an ice bath for his previous milestone win, which was the result of a 16-2 rout of the Demons, Texas State had a wait a while to celebrate his next one as it was locked in a scoreless tie with the Bears through seven innings.
Runs were tough to come by, even though each team started a pitcher with a sky-high earned-run average. Chad Young and his 7.50 ERA took the mound for the Bobcats, while Sean Spicer (8.03) opposed him.
Young hadn’t started a game since March 18, but didn’t look any worse for wear. Baylor never got a bead on Young and the left-handed pitcher settled in well after facing a few early jams.
When Young left the field to a standing ovation in the seventh inning, the junior matched his previous total of innings pitched and cut his ERA in half. Young fed off the seven guys in the field and the one behind the plate, as Texas State (23-18) played error-free defense for just the 10th time this season.
“They were making spectacular plays behind me pumped me up even more,” Young said. “It gives you adrenaline to keep going and keep working.”
Eventually it was time for one of the teams to score and pinch-hitter Cameron Friess made sure the Bobcats drew first blood in the eighth inning.
With Garrett Mattlage standing on second after a single and Texas State’s sixth steal of the night, Friess drilled a 1-0 pitch over the head of Baylor’s second baseman. Friess had his second pinch-hit single in as many nights and Mattlage came around to score the decisive run.
“I just knew that I needed to get the ball in play,” Friess said. “I knew if I got something out there, Garrett would make sure he got home. I just wanted to see something up in the zone. I did and I got a hold of it.”
Tyler Pearson added an insurance run with another single two batters later and the Bobcats had no doubt the lead was safe with Hunter Lemke on the mound in the ninth. Lemke worked around a two-out single and closed the door for his school-record tying ninth save of the season.
No one poured ice water on Harrington after this win, but this time he celebrated in front of his own fans, with his family by his side and received a commemorative jersey in a post-game ceremony.
— Tyler Mayforth (Sports Editor)