Photo by Gerald Castillo
Bobcats survive wild night with 16-14 win over Arkansas State
The memories of all the wild games Ty Harrington has been a part of may not have stood the test of time.
The Texas State head coach can’t recall all of his team’s crazy outings at the ballpark. But one thing is for sure, Thursday’s game is the wildest one Harrington can remember.
And for the 1,086 fans at Bobcat Ballpark, it’ll likely rank up there for them too.
The Bobcats survived a disastrous top of the eighth with a rally in the bottom frame and closed the contest out with a gutsy effort in the ninth by an exhausted pitching staff to defeat Arkansas State, 16-14.
“It’s a crazy game every once and a while and tonight was a great example of how crazy college baseball can be if you don’t execute properly,” Harrington said. “So, it was just a crazy, crazy game. As a coach, you know deep down that the game is never over until it’s over.”
Texas State (25-13, 10-6 Sun Belt) and Arkansas State (22-17, 8-9) traded the lead five times Thursday night.
The Bobcats trailed early after the Red Wolves scored two runs in the second inning, and again after Arkansas State plated four runs in the fifth inning.
But a three-run home run from Texas State sophomore right fielder John Wuthrich tied the score at 6-6 in the bottom of the fifth.
The Bobcats scored four runs in the sixth and three in the seventh to take a commanding 13-6 advantage into the eighth.
An appearingly comfortable lead, however, quickly dissipated after a disastrous inning on the mound. The Bobcats went through four pitching changes, allowed a 3-run homer and gave up seven walks, including two for RBIs in the top of the eighth. Freshman lefty Dontae Woodard allowed the game-tying run to cross the plate but got Texas State out of the inning.
The Bobcats rallied in the bottom frame. With the bases loaded, junior second baseman Jaxon Williams ripped a single into center field to score two runs. Texas State added an insurance run with a sac-fly from junior designated hitter Will Hollis to take a 16-13 lead into the ninth inning.
Arkansas State scored one run in the ninth. But senior pitcher Anthony Pagano came in and closed the game out to secure the 16-14 victory.
“It’s crazy what happens when you don’t do the fundamental part of (the game),” Harrington said. “We didn’t throw the ball in there in the eighth inning, obviously. You guys can see that. Our guys know it. So all of a sudden it got to be a really tight game. (Arkansas State) did an unbelievable job of battling. For us, all of the momentum was sucked out of the dugout in the eighth inning and we battled back and scored and there’s something to be said about that.”
Woodard claimed the victory on the mound for Texas State, while Pagano earned the save. Arkansas State senior right-hander Payton Lannon took the loss.
After a wild night, Harrington called Thursday’s win a relief as the Bobcats continue their three-game series against the Red Wolves on Friday at 6 p.m.
“Tomorrow is a different day,” Harrington said. “That’s the beautiful thing about this game. So, we’ll come out tomorrow and hopefully the sun comes up a little bit better for us tomorrow.”