Drawing 2,593 to the opening of their refurbished Bobcat Field Tuesday night, the Texas State Bobcats lost to the No. 4 Texas Longhorns, who scored a run in the seventh inning and two more in the eighth to go home with a 6-5 win.
The Longhorns improved to 10-0, while Texas State improved to 8-3. But the loss obscured a greater victory for the Bobcats, who opened a much improved stadium.
“This has been such a special moment for me and Texas State,” said Texas State head coach Ty Harrington. “We’ve waited for so long for this to come and, honestly, I just really don’t know how to respond to it. I was nervous, anxious and excited all at the same time.”
The Bobcats capitalized on their energy to score three runs in the first two innings. The first run came when Tyler Sibley led off the first inning by being hit by a pitch, took second on a walk to Paul Goldschmidt and crossed on an error by Texas shortstop David Hernandez.
Texas State took its characteristic big lead in the second inning Ben Theriot’s double, Adam Witek’s RBI single and Sibley’s RBI single.
Up 3-0 after three innings, the Bobcats couldn’t make it up. Texas scored three times in the fourth to tie the game against Texas State starter Michael Russo. The big blow came on a two-run single to center field by Hernandez.
The Bobcats took a 5-3 lead with two runs in the sixth on RBI singles by Bret Atwood and Spencer Dennis.
Kane Holbrooks, who has been a reliable starter for the Bobcats, took the mound in a relief appearance to start the seventh inning. However, the Longhorns scored quickly on a solo homer by Brandon Belt to make in 5-4.
When Tyler Brundridge went in to start the eight in relief for the Bobcats, they fell apart. Brundridge walked Jason Martinson, then balked pinch runner pinch runner Tim Maitland to second with no outs. Maitland moved to third as Hernandez reached on an error by Texas State shortstop Jason Martinson.
With one out, Russell Mouldenhauer singled, driving in Maitland to tie the game, 5-5. Travis Tucker followed with a single, driving in pinch runner Kyle Lusson with the tie-breaking run.
The Bobcats couldn’t get a runner past first base in the eighth or ninth innings.
“I am proud of the way we played tonight,” Harrington said. “The effort and courage we put out were great. You have to learn to play through adversity and learn to use them to your advantage. That is one thing we will work on and it will continue to improve throughout the season.”
Texas State outhit Texas, 10 to nine, but also left 11 runners on base.
Reliever Austin Wood picked up the win for Texas, giving up just one hit in 3 1/3 innings and improving his record to 3-0. Brundridge took the loss in his first decision of the year.
The Bobcats remain at home for eight more games on this home stand, starting with three against Purdue – one each on Friday (6 p.m.), Saturday (2 p.m.) and Sunday (1 p.m.).