Bobcats strand 11 on base in loss to Texas

Photo by Gerald Castillo

Texas State Baseball

AUSTIN – In a battle of strength vs. strength, Texas’ pitching held Texas State’s potent offense scoreless.

The Bobcats loaded the bases twice with no outs and produced no runs during Tuesday night’s 2-0 loss to the Longhorns inside Disch-Falk Field that completed a three-game season-series.

Texas State (22-16) generated six hits against the 10th best pitching staff in the nation (2.99 combined ERA), but left 11 runners on base.

“You get that many opportunities, you hope somebody’s going to step up and roll one through, hit some balls hard right at them at times and we gave away a couple of at-bats,” said assistant coach Jeremy Fikac who stood in place of a suspended Ty Harrington. “It’s why they pay big-leaguers a lot of money that’ll drive runs in. RBIs are key so they had two timely hits and we didn’t get those hits today. Texas State is now batting .154 in its last 10 games during bases loaded situations.

“To get bases loaded, you’ve got to put some good at-bats together and I thought our kids did that. We just couldn’t get that hit.”

In the top of the second, Texas State loaded the bases before designated hitter Cole Coffey grounded into a 1-2-3 double play. First baseman later Travon Benton grounded into the third out. Texas (25-15) scored its first run in the bottom of the third on a Kody Clemens RBI-single and three frames later, the Horns added their second run on a Ryan Reynolds RBI-double off the centerfield wall.

Again, the Bobcats loaded the bases during the top of the seventh thanks to a bunt-single from sophomore leftfielder Jacob Almendarez that brought up the top of its lineup. Texas State couldn’t ask for a better scenario and yet each of the next three batters went down in order.

“We just didn’t get the job done tonight,” Almendarez said. “We feel like we were the better team, we just didn’t get the job done when we had the chances to score.

Almendarez finished with three hits in four at-bats, his most since Texas State’s win over the Longhorns on March 21. His first bunt-single during the top of the third stayed just inside the field of play in front of Texas catcher Michael Cantu. Almendarez has made a knack for infield singles this season, he’s not even sure how chance keeps rolling his way.

“I have no idea,” Almendarez laughed. “I would like not to do so much of that, but it’s whatever helps the team win.”

After giving up nine earned runs against Texas last weekend, Texas State’s bullpen matched up more admirably. Junior starter Cam Baird pitched 4 2/3 innings and allowed just one run off five hits.

State’s bullpen combined to give up just one more run off two hits over the final 3 1/3 innings. Fikac called it a “night and day” turnaround from last week’s outing.

“We’re making progress back there,” Fikac said. “Joe Powell’s continued to come out of the bullpen and throw fantastic. I was happy to see Anthony Pagano go out there, we used Engle tonight to try to give him a situation to get back in there and gain some confidence.”

Texas State hits the road this weekend and opens a three-game series against Troy Friday at 6 p.m.

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