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

April 24th, 2010
Smith leads Bobcats past Northwestern State

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Texas State right hander Carson Smith went the distance Friday night, leading the Bobcats to an important 5-3 win against Northwestern State at Bobcat Field. Texas State sports information photo.

STAFF REPORT

So far, so good for the Texas State baseball team in its weekend series against Northwestern State for the Southland Conference lead.

Not only did the Bobcats win the series opener Friday night, 5-3, at Bobcat Field, but starting pitcher Carson Smith went the distance, striking out ten in his nine innings. With Smith’s complete game, Texas State Ty Harrington goes to the final two games of the series with the full resources of his bullpen available.

“We battled and worked hard, so I’m happy with that, but the story of tonight was Carson Smith,” Harrington said. “We needed and challenged him to throw a complete game, which is something we need our Friday night starter to do and he did that tonight.”

The Bobcats, 23-13 overall, are 14-5 in the Southland Conference, 1 1/2 games ahead of Northwestern State and Stephen F. Austin, which both are 12-6. Southeastern Louisiana is right on the tail at 12-7.

As the night developed, it was appearing that Smith might actually be outdueled by Northwestern State starter Ryan Zimmerman.

The Demons took a 1-0 lead in the third, when Will Watson crossed from third base on a double-play. In the fourth, Northwestern State increased the lead to 2-0 on a leadoff homer by Chase Lyles. The Demons upped their lead to 3-0 in the fifth, when Watson scored from second base on a single by Joshual Gardiner.

Thus, the proceedings did not look good for the Bobcats, down 3-0 going to the bottom of the fifth.

But the Bobcat bats quickly turned the game. A single by Andrew Stumph, a walk for Shaun Garcia and Christian Gallegos being hit by a pitch loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the fifth. Then, Laurn Randell hit what appeared to be a double-play ball that would end the inning. But second baseman Justin Martinez threw wildly on the relay, allowing Stumph and Garcia to score and bringing the Bobcats within 3-2.

Texas State tied the game, 3-3, in the sixth, when Jeff McVaney singled in Jason Martinson from second base.

Meanwhile, Smith seemed to gain strength, allowing only two hits in his final four innings of work.

The Bobcats scored the winning runs in the seventh inning. After Garcia was hit by a pitch to start the inning, he moved to second on a passed ball. Gallegos then reached on another throwing error by Martinez, allowing Garcia to score. Later, Kyle Livingstone singled, knocking in Gallegos.

The series continues with a 2 p.m. start Saturday at Bobcat Field, followed by a 1 p.m. start Sunday.

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