San Antonio, TX – A regular season title meant little to a hungry Texas State Bobcat team as they trounced onto Roadrunner Field and snatched a 10-3 victory from the No. 1 seed Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners Thursday night in the I-35 Maroon vs. Orange Rivalry contest.
“We had an all-around great night, said head coach Ty Harrington.” “Our pitching was on, our offense was on and our defense came up with some big plays that helped us win the game.”
The night started when Laurn Randell rapped out a one-out single between second and first base in the top of the first inning and one out later, Lance Loftin was issued a walk to give the ‘Cats two base runners. Ben Theriot came through with the second base hit of the inning, a drop into right field, that sent the pair for the early Texas State lead.
The Runners answered back in their half of the frame on just two pitches when James Keithley homered to left field.
But Mike Hart retired the next eight of nine batters that approached the plate to give Texas State plenty of room across three innings.
“Mike did a great job shrinking the plate tonight. Pitching to an offense like this is not easy and he did a great job finding the outside corners and throwing some pitches he normally doesn’t throw to take advantage of the situation,” said Harrington.
Hart’s pitching was backed by a powering offense in the top of the third, starting with a lead-off single through the left side from Thomas Field. Adam Witek laid down a sacrifice bunt to shift the runner, but Field moved to third shortly thereafter stealing during Paul Goldschmidt’s at bat. Goldscmidt drew a walk that put runners on the corners and Loftin took advantage of the situation and gave the ‘Cats a 5-1 advantage with his towering home run to left field.
“I sat on the pitches on that I hadn’t been all season and just went for the ones that looked good. When I hit the first (home run), I knew it was gone and that just set the momentum for the rest of the game,” said Loftin.
Witek tacked on the sixth run in the top of the fourth after reaching on a single and lighting a fire on the base paths stealing second and third base. Field notched the RBI-single with a single to left center.
Meanwhile, UTSA did not notch its second hit of the game until the fourth inning with a one-out single from Trent Lockwood, but the foe was left stranded on base.
The ‘Runners managed to send its next pair of runs, that proved to be their lone marks, on two outs in the bottom of the fifth. Ninth-hole Phillip Allen drilled a single down the left line and back-to-back doubles in the same spot trimmed the ‘Cats lead 6-3 with the two-run frame.
But Texas State grew a margin too big to overcome in the top of the eighth when Bret Atwood led off with a base hit bunt down the left line. Field followed with a fielder’s choice that retired the freshman, but the ‘Cats rallied for a single and double to centerfield from Laurn Randell and Paul Goldschmidt, respectively. Goldschmidt’s power scored Field, but Loftin cleared the bases when he followed the trio with a second three-run homer, this time to left center.
Hart closed out the game from the mound, retiring the next six batters to give the ‘Cats the first win of the series. The junior improves to 6-3 after completing his fourth game of the season, limiting UTSA to just three runs off seven hits.
Loftin matched an individual game-high RBI total with the six-count in tonight’s 2-for-3 outing. Randell went 3-for-3 and scored two runs to aid the ‘Cats victory and Field added a pair of hits for the ‘Cats multi-hit batters. All but one Bobcat notched a hit in tonight’s game.
Keithley led UTSA with a 2-for-3 outing, scoring two runs and notching two RBI.
Ryan Proudfoot took the loss after spending 5.0 innings on the mound. The starter gave up six runs, five of which were earned, off eight hits before coming out of the game.
Game two is slated for 6 p.m. at Bobcat Field.
By AMBER ARTERBERRY
Assistant Sports Information Director