Game Two set for 2 p.m.
Lance Loftin and Thomas Field blasted two home runs in the fourth inning for a combined nine runs and propelled the Texas State Bobcats to a 13-7 victory over Central Arkansas Friday night at Bobcat Field.
The ‘Cats improve to 21-14 and 11-5 in Southland action, while UCA falls to 17-20 and 6-10, respectively.
Mike Hart and Brandon Dunn dueled on the mound in the opening three frames before the first run crossed the plate. Kevin Rawls and Chris Davis led off the top of the fourth with back-to-back first-pitch base hits. The duo shifted to the scoring corner on a sacrifice bunt and Rawls crossed for the game’s first run on a ground out that followed.
Field initiated Texas State’s half frame with a first-pitch single up the middle and Bunn attempted to erase the base runner with a pick-off, but a wild throw to first base advanced Field to second. With one out, the Bears intentionally walked Paul Goldschmidt, giving Loftin a two-man diamond and on Bunn’s first toss to the plate, the slugger belted the ball straight to the right field scoreboard to give Texas state a 3-1 lead. The Bobcat offense stayed hot, rapping out a single and two doubles to increase the tally by two. With Adam Witek on second base, the Bears gave Texas State a full diamond after walking Cody Gambill and hitting Jason Martinson, shifting Witek to third, before opting for a pitching change. Daniel Price took the mound, and after three pitches, Field found the right connection and capped the nine-run inning with a grand slam to left field.
The Bears forced their way back into the game, posting five runs over the next three innings, 9-7, to threaten a comeback.
The ‘Cats stepped up and put four runs across the plate in the bottom of the eighth to eliminate the defeat. Laurn Randell knocked in the final two runs on a base hit to right field.
Josh Walter earned his fourth save of the season after catching Scott Cline looking at the game-ending strike. Walter faced six batters and retired four to close out the game.
Hart improved to 4-2 with the win, pitching a solid seven innings and adding eight strikeouts to his career total.
Dunn was credited with the loss and falls to 2-3.
Field went 4-for-5 to lead Texas State at the plate. Witek and Randell chipped in two hits each, with the latter notching two RBI.
Game two of the series is slated for a 2 p.m. start at Bobcat Field.
By AMBER ARTERBERRY
Assistant Sports Information Director