Early hitting paves way for Theriot's save against UTA

Photo by Gerald Castillo

Texas State Baseball

A wake-up call was just what Texas State (26-28, 12-16 in the Sun Belt)needed heading into its final weekend.

The Bobcats picked up their first series-opening win in over a month during Thursday night’s 7-6 victory against UT Arlington (29-23, 19-9 in the Sun Belt) thanks to some early offensive firepower and a save performance from sophomore pitcher Brayden Theriot.

Facing two on and one out in the top of the eighth, head coach Ty Harrington’s team clung to a one-run lead. Harrington made a call to the bullpen and out trotted Theriot to face UTA first baseman Omar Salinas who was 4-for-4 heading into the at-bat including a solo homer in the top of the fourth. At that point, the Mavericks had hacked away at a six-run Bobcat lead over the previous four frames.

Theriot calmly handled a come backer from Salinas and made the play over at first for the easy 1-3 double play. Theriot picked up just the third save for Texas State this season.

“We let them crawl back in the game, they’re a good baseball team it’s always a possibility, and you get right down to it, Brayden Theriot was the difference in the game,” Harrington said. “He came in with their best guy at the plate and it’s a double play.

“(Theriot) knows what he’s trying to do out there. It’s just a matter of being able to get out there and execute it. He threw a great change-up against the second hitter, but the rest of it was attack-baseball from the mound, which is what you have to have.”

Theriot pitched 1 2/3 innings and allowed no hits or runs.

Junior right fielder Teddy Hoffman and sophomore third baseman Jaylen Hubbard shrugged off their lackluster midweek game against Rice with back-to-back homers during the bottom of the fifth that gave Texas State a 7-1 lead. After Hoffman’s home run, UTA made a pitching change relieving starter Kadon Simmons in favor of Dylan Schneider. It didn’t matter as Hubbard’s third blast of the season fell well beyond left field on Schneider’s second pitch.

When asked about the team’s bounce-back on offense, Hubbard was quick to point the finger back at freshman pitcher Nick Fraze for starting the team out on the right foot working through four innings with just one earned run.

“(Fraze) pitched his behind off,” Hubbard said after going 2-for-3 at the plate with three RBIs. “He did a great job and set us up for a big win. We made a lot of timely hitting and the defense came around, it came around and we did good.

“When we’re rolling, we’re really rolling, we’re pulling away from people so it feels good. Of course, going into the tournament, if we carry this through the weekend, it’ll be great for us.”

Harrington was pleased to see his team shake off Tuesday’s four-hit performance at Rice and send seven across the plate against one of the Sun Belt’s best pitching staffs (3.88 team ERA). With their ticket already punched to the Sun Belt Tournament, Texas State is just using this weekend to gain positive vibes rolling into the Statesboro next week.

Texas State returns for its second game of the series Friday at 6 p.m.

San Marcos Daily Record

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