San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

February 20th, 2010
Bobcats win baseball opener, 6-0, at Houston

STAFF REPORT

Bringing their entire game to their opener, the Texas State Bobcats claimed a 6-0 win at Houston Friday night to start the 2010 baseball season.

The Bobcats were efficient offensively, scoring their six runs on five hits and leaving only six of their 12 base runners stranded.

Texas State starter Michael Russo traded shutout innings with Houston’s Michael Goodnight for four innings before Russo’s hitters proved to be more resourceful in the fifth. Goodnight’s sudden wildness helped.

Kyle Kubitza started the fifth for Texas State with a single, then went to second on Goodnight’s balk. Goodnight recovered to strike out Daniel Neumann and Kyle Livingstone, then, just as instantly, he hit Laurn Randell with a pitch and followed with a wild pitch to Jordan Kopycinski, putting Kubitza on third and Randell on second.

When Goodnight walked Kopycinski to load the bases, the Cougars replaced him with William Kankel, who was even worse. Kankel first walked designated hitter Andrew Lacombe to force in Kubitza, then walked Tyler Sibley to force in Randell. That 2-0 lead would be all the Bobcats needed.

Russo, moving to the starting rotation from the bullpen, covered six shutout innings, allowing four hits and walking two while striking out four. Last season, Russo made only four starts in 24 appearances for the Bobcats, going 4-3 with a 4.35 ERA and six saves.

The final three shutout innings went to Carson Smith, a 6-feet-5 right hander from Midland who transferred in for his sophomore season from Grayson Community College. Smith struck out three and allowed two hits to close out the Texas State win.

Livingstone hit a two-run homer in the sixth, driving in Kubitza ahead of him to give the Bobcats a 4-0 lead. The Bobcats added another run in the seventh, when they loaded the bases with one out before Neumann’s ground ball drove in Sibley from third. Sibley scored another run in the ninth, when the Cougars unraveled with two errors. Sibley led off by reaching on a two-base throwing error, the scored when Bret Atwood reached on a throwing error right behind him.

Texas State will go at again with Houston Saturday (6:30 p.m.) at Cougar Field. Senior right hander Garret Carruth will pitch for Texas State, while left hander Ty Stuckey will pitch for Houston.

The Bobcats will play another game at Houston Sunday, then play at Rice on Tuesday. After playing a three-game tournament at Baylor next weekend, the Bobcats will play their home opener on March 3 against Rice.

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