NACOGDOCHES – With two weekends remaining in the Southland Conference baseball season, the Texas State Bobcats are staring down the end of a dark tunnel.
The Bobcats lost again Sunday, 3-2 at Stephen F. Austin, their eighth loss in their last nine games after they were swept by a conference opponent for the first time since 2001. The Bobcats have lost four in a row and the offense they used to count on hasn’t surpassed three runs in three of their last four games.
Meanwhile, Texas-San Antonio salvaged the final game of its three-game series at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi with an 11-2 win. The Road Runners (34-14 overall, 18-6 SLC) now hold a four-game lead over Texas State (24-22, 14-10) in the SLC West.
Only six games remain in the SLC season. Texas State will play UTSA in a three-game series May 15-17. Even if the Bobcats sweep that series, they’ll need help next weekend, when they go to McNeese for three and UTSA plays three at home against Nicholls State.
The Bobcats notched only five hits Sunday in support of starting pitcher Zack Tritz, who fell to 8-2 despite a solid outing. Tritz allowed eight hits and two walks in his eight-inning performance.
Texas State scored first on a first-inning homer by Adam Witek. But SFA scratched out a run to tie it in the first when Kevin Crabtree singled, stole second, took third on a throwing error and crossed on an infield out.
SFA took the lead at 2-1 in the fourth when Sean Meyers tripled with one out, then Justin Roland singled one out later. Crabtree doubled to drive in another SFA run in the fifth, making it 3-1.
Texas State came to within 3-2 in the seventh, after Laurn Randell was hit by a pitch to lead off, then took second when Ben Theriot walked. One out later, Randell took third when Witek hit into a force out at second, then scored on a wild pitch that advanced Witek to second. Paul Goldschmidt walked to keep the inning alive, but it ended when Lance Loftin struck out.
The Bobcats put a runner on second with one out in the eighth, but couldn’t turn it into the tying run. Texas State went down, one-two-three, in the ninth.