What would the Texas State Bobcats give for just a little bit of pitching? Not for high school All-Americans, not for first-round draft choices, but just a little bit of pitching.
The Bobcats scored 13 runs Wednesday night and still came not within sight of beating Baylor, which snapped a five-game losing streak with its 25-13 thumping of the Texas State nine at Bobcat Field.
Texas State pounded out 18 hits. Baylor fielders chipped in with three errors. Baylor pitchers helped with four walks, a wild pitch and a hit batsman.
And it still wasn’t enough for the Bobcats to finish within 11 runs of tying the game, or even forcing it to go the full nine innings. The Bears (24-18) claimed their run-rule victory after only eight.
The explosive exploits of Texas State hitters have often been told in the last few days, and the production continued Wednesday night. The Bobcats now have scored 92 runs in their last nine games, never scoring fewer than eight runs in any of them.
But the Bobcats still managed to lose three of those games because they also allowed 84 runs in those last nine outings. On three of those occasions, the opponent has scored 14 runs or more.
Texas State starter Kane Holbrooks threw two shutout innings Wednesday night and actually held a 5-0 lead going to the top of the third. But Holbrooks couldn’t survive the next two innings, giving up nine earned runs and leaving with two out in the fourth, down 9-7.
In every inning after the third, Baylor put up crooked numbers ranging from 2 to 8. Six Texas State pitchers joined forces to walk 11 Baylor batters in an eight-inning game. They also gave up 23 hits, including nine doubles and a homer.
The Bobcats pitchers got their brains beaten in so badly that Head Coach Ty Harrington finally put third baseman Lance Loftin on the mound, for only the fourth time all season, to mop up the eighth inning. And Loftin wasn’t their worst pitcher of the night, although he allowed four runs in one inning.
Texas State took a 5-0 lead with a five-run second inning, highlighted by Thomas Field’s three-run homer. Baylor came right back with four runs in the third.
So, the Bobcats went back on the attack in their half of the inning. Paul Goldschmidt led off with a home run. Loftin then doubled, took third on Laurn Randell’s single and scored on a double play, giving the home team a 7-4 lead. It would not last long.
Holbrooks started the fourth inning walking the first two batters he faced, then advancing them with a wild pitch. From that point, Holbrook’s control improved, but the results did not. After an infield out drove in one run, the next four Baylor hitters went single, single, double, double. Four more runs scored before Brian Borski came in to pitch up the final two outs of the inning.
Of course, the Texas State hitters aren’t easy to dispatch, either. The Bobcats scored twice in their half of the fourth to pull even at 9-9 when Field and Goldschmidt each homered for the second time in the game. Goldschmidt’s homer put him at 15 this season, just three short of the single-season record (18) held by Luke Cannon.
But Baylor proceeded to hammer a procession of Texas State pitchers, scoring three in the fifth, three in the sixth, two in the seventh and eight in the eighth. The eighth was especially crushing for the Bobcats, who entered the inning down 17-13, still right in the thick of an offensive free-for-all. Texas State pitchers then walked three batters and hit another, while Baylor smacked three doubles and a homer.
Following this midweek nightmare on the mound, during which the Bobcats allowed 39 runs over two games to Big 12 opponents Texas A&M and Baylor, the San Martians will go back to Southland Conference action this weekend. Lamar comes to town for games Friday (6 p.m.), Saturday (2 p.m.) and Sunday (1 p.m.) at Bobcat Field.
The Bobcats (23-16 overall, 13-5 Southland) remain one game behind Texas-San Antonio in the Southland Conference West. Lamar (12-6 Southland) is 1/2 game behind Northwestern State in the Southland Conference East.