Texas State baseball coach Ty Harrington went with his plan from the middle of last week and called on sophomore right hander Carson Smith to pitch Tuesday night at Texas.
Smith did his part. The bullpen did not.
The Bobcats lost, 4-3, at Texas, which scored three times in the bottom of the eighth for the victory.
Smith shut out the Longhorns for the first six innings before giving up a run in the seventh. At that point, the Bobcats still held a 3-1 lead on Smith’s a five-hitter with eight strikeouts. Texas starter Austin Dicharry allowed only five hits and two earned runs while striking out four and walking none in seven innings, but Smith outdueled him.
“Carson wanted the ball tonight and he wanted to be on this stage taking care of the game,” Harrington said. “He did that.”
However, Texas State relievers Mitchell Pitts and Garret Carruth combined to allow three runs on three hits and a walk in the eighth.
Pitts began the inning by allowing two hits and left with runners on first and second with one out for Carruth. But Carruth walked Kevin Keyes to load the bases, then Kyle Lusson reached on a fielder’s choice to drive in a run. After Kevin Lusson walked, Paul Montalbano singled in pinch runner Jonathan Walsh and Kyle Lusson to put the Longhorns ahead.
In the top of the ninth, Texas State managed only Kyle Livingstone’s walk against reliever Chase Ruffin and the game ended like two NCAA Tournament games at Disch-Falk Field ended last season, with the Bobcats unable to hold a late lead.
The Bobcats scored twice in the fourth for a 2-0 lead when Bret Atwood singled and stole second before Livingstone drove him in with a single. After Livingstone stole second, Jason Martinson doubled to left center, knocking in the second Texas State run.
The Longhorns responded with a run in the bottom of the seventh, when Keyes singled, took second on a sacrifice and went home on Kevin Lusson’s double to left center. But the Bobcats got that run back for a 3-1 lead in the top of the eighth, when Daniel Neumann led off with a double, went to third on a ground ball and crossed on a passed ball.
The Bobcats fell to 5-6 for the season, while fourth-ranked Texas improved to 9-3. Texas State is back home for three games this weekend, starting with a Friday contest against Penn State (6:30 p.m.). The Bobcats will play Penn State again Saturday (2 p.m.) and Sunday (11 a.m.).Email | Print