Photo by Gerald Castillo
Bobcats complete sweep over ULM with run-rule win
Ryan Newman knew it was leaving the park when it left his bat.
The senior first baseman smacked a grand slam over the right field wall Sunday afternoon. The four-run bomb enacted a Sunday run-rule and gave Texas State a 13-1 win over Louisiana-Monroe.
Newman was mobbed at the plate after his walk-off grand slam. He credited his teammates for his game-ending homer.
“This is like the ultimate team sport,” Newman said. “We had five guys before that have great (at bats) to lead up to that happening. When we’re all plugged in it’s really fun to watch.”
Senior right-handed pitcher Connor Reich guided Texas State to a dominating outing. He struck out eight and only allowed one run on four hits. Reich said his pitch location was key in earning Sunday’s victory.
“I was able to keep them off balanced with mixing a good changeup every now and then and staying with the fastball in and out, up and in,” Reich said. “I was just able to locate.”
Texas State (15-9, 4-2 Sun Belt) struggled at the plate early but took advantage of ULM’s pitching mistakes. Warhawk senior righty Jacob Barton gave up three walks in the second inning to load the bases. Bobcat redshirt senior right fielder Travon Benton hit an RBI groundout to give Texas State a 1-0 lead.
ULM (7-16, 0-6) tied the game with an RBI single from freshman catcher Austin Schmitt in the top of the fifth.
Texas State entered the bottom frame without a hit but the Bobcats exploded for seven hits. Texas State plated five runs with RBI singles from redshirt senior center fielder Skyler Valentine, senior third baseman Jaylen Hubbard, junior second baseman Jaxon Williams and Benton to go up 6-1. The Bobcats added another run in the sixth with an RBI single from sophomore shortstop Dalton Shuffield.
Texas State scored two more runs in the seventh before Newman ended the game with his grand slam.
“In the second half (of the game), obviously, we were able to capitalize offensively and came up with some big hits,” head coach Ty Harrington said. “And that last one right there was fun for (Newman). He’s been working at it. He hasn’t been as good as he’s hoped to be, wants to be and aspires to be but he’s been putting in the work. So a swing like that, you hope it gives him a good feeling about what’s going on.”
Sunday’s win secured a three-game sweep over ULM. The three wins over the weekend has Texas State in a tie for second place in the Sun Belt west division with UT Arlington.
“(Getting the sweep is) really huge, especially with us losing two to South Alabama last week,” Newman said. “We needed a sweep and in conference you’re trying to get as many wins as possible to stay in the rankings, so it was really big time.”
The Bobcats return to the diamond to take on Rice on Tuesday at 6 p.m. inside Bobcat Ballpark. Texas State has played two games against the Owls this season and has won both.