Garrett Carruth picked up the only win for Texas State during the weekend at Southeastern Louisiana. Texas State sports information photo.
After losing two of three last weekend at No. 23 Southeastern Louisiana, the Texas State baseball team remains in first place in the Southland Conference.
However, the race is very tight now, with four teams within 1 1/2 games of the lead and 12 games remaining in the conference season.
The Bobcats are 13-5 in the Southland Conference, followed by Northwestern State (12-5), Southeastern Louisiana (12-6) and Stephen F. Austin (11-6).
Thus is set up a huge series this weekend at Bobcat Field, where the Bobcats will play host to Northwestern State, which has climbed to within one-half game of the league lead with five straight conference victories.
First, though, the Bobcats will play Baylor Wednesday night (6:30 p.m.) at Bobcat Stadium. The Bobcats have lost each of their two meetings against Baylor this season. Both games were played in Waco.
During the weekend at Southeastern Louisiana, the home team won the Friday opener, 10-1, before Texas State bounced back for a 12-10 win in 11 innings on Saturday. The deciding game on Sunday went to the Lions, 9-6.
The Bobcats went to the ninth inning of Sunday’s rubber game against Southeastern Louisiana trailing 9-5 and still managed to get the tying run to the plate. After Bret Atwood doubled in Laurn Randell and moved to third base on a single by Jason Martinson, they were down, 9-6, with runners on the corners and one out. But Jeff McVaney hit into a double play to end the game.
The Bobcats actually lost that game much earlier with four fielding errors. Texas State starting pitcher Lee Colon allowed seven runs in 4 1/3 innings, but only four of them were earned. Kyle Kubitza homered in the game for Texas State, his fifth of the year.
Southeastern Louisiana climbed on Texas State starter Carson Smith in the Friday opener, tacking up two runs in the fourth inning and three in the fifth for a 5-0 lead. The Bobcats struggled against Southeastern Louisiana’s Brandon Efferson, who scattered nine hits in his route-going effort and improved his record to 7-1.
The Bobcats took the middle game in the 11th inning Saturday when McVaney tripled in Atwood and Kyle Livingstone singled in McVaney. The middle of the Texas State batting order came up big in the game. McVaney finished three-for-five with a homer (his fifth) and two RBI. Livingstone was four-four-six with three RBI, while Kubitza was three-for-five with an RBI.
Reliever Garret Carruth allowed only one run in 3 1/3 innings at the end of the game for the win, raising his record to 3-2.