Photo by Gerald Castillo
Bobcats' win streak snapped in loss to Roadrunners
The Bobcats hit three doubles in four at-bats but were still outslugged.
Texas State (31-14, 15-6 Sun Belt) trailed 2-0 in the top of the third inning during its game against UTSA (21-24, 9-12 Conference USA) in San Antonio on Tuesday. Senior first baseman Ryan Newman led the frame off with line drive to right field to reach second base. Redshirt senior third baseman Jaylen Hubbard shot another down the left field line two at-bats later to take Newman’s place at second and send the senior home. Junior second baseman Jaxon Williams followed with one more double to tie the game with just one out in the inning.
But as big as the bats were for the Bobcats, they were no match for the Roadrunners. UTSA sophomore first baseman Bryan Sturges hit a two-RBI home run in the bottom of the third to retake the lead. The hosts launched two more homers over the outfield fence to stay in front, taking the 8-5 win.
“(UTSA) outslugged us,” Texas State head coach Ty Harrington said. “I thought offensively, we were doing more than we needed to do at at-bats. What I mean by that is, I thought we overswung the bats tonight. It wasn’t that we weren’t competing. This bunch competes. I just felt like they were in there trying to do a little more than what they (needed) to do. They didn’t stay with the plan as good as they could. And then they outslugged us.”
The visitors faced an uphill battle heading into the eighth, down 8-2. Hubbard was hit by a pitch, moved to second on a single to center by Williams, then tagged up to third on a sac fly by redshirt junior designated hitter Will Hollis. Sophomore right fielder John Wuthrich reached on a fielder’s choice in the next trip to the plate, letting Hubbard score and Williams to advance to second. Redshirt senior left fielder Travon Benton then loaded the bases with a walk.
A single to left field from redshirt senior center fielder Skyler Valentine brought in two more runs. The Bobcats held the Roadrunners scoreless in the bottom of the frame to take momentum into the final inning.
They couldn’t capitalize, though, leaving two on base to end the game.
“There were a handful of bright spots for us,” Harrington said. “The good news is, what this team can do is, they keep battling. They don’t give up a bit. So I appreciate, I respect the idea that they’re still out there competing.”
Williams led the team hitting 2-4. Junior starting pitcher Garrett Herrmann received the loss, surrendering four runs on six hits and two walks with four strikeouts.
The loss was Texas State’s first of the season against UTSA and snapped a 10-game winning streak. The Bobcats previously defeated the Roadrunners on March 5 (8-2) and April 2 (14-1). Harrington said his team is still evolving on the mound, especially in relief, but noted that UTSA hits .302 as a team — the No. 17 average in the NCAA.
The maroon and gold will return to Sun Belt play on Friday when they host Georgia State (13-32, 4-17) inside Bobcat Ballpark for a three-game series. The first game is slated for 6 p.m.
Harrington expects his team to return to form.
“If history repeats itself — we got punched in the mouth two weeks ago at Georgia Southern, (12-0, on April 12) — we came back the next day and won and played well,” Harrington said. “So, hopefully, the personalities will be the same. They’ll bounce back and play hard.”