The weekend was looking pretty good for the Texas State baseball team entering the bottom of the eighth in Saturday’s middle game at Texas-Arlington (UTA).
The two teams entered the weekend tied for second place in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC), one game behind Cal State-Bakersfield. The Bobcats won the Friday opener, 7-2. They led the middle game, 4-3, heading to the bottom of the eighth.
But the Mavericks tied in in the eighth, then the two teams fought through five extra innings. Each team scored in the 11th to make it 5-5. Then, UTA scored in the bottom of the 14th inning to claim a 6-5 win. Sunday, closing out the series, UTA cruised to a 10-2 win.
At the end of it all, the Bobcats are 14-10 in the WAC, tied for third place with Sacramento State. Cal State-Bakersfield remains on top at 17-7, with UTA two games down in second at 15-9.
The Bobcats are 25-26 overall. UTA is 27-24.
Texas State plays Rice Tuesday night at Bobcat Ballpark (6:30 p.m.) before closing out the regular season with three games at home against Dallas Baptist this weekend.
With their one victory and the other results during the past weekend, the Bobcats have qualified for the WAC Tournament to be played May 22-26 in Grand Prairie. The top eight teams in the 10-team league go to the tournament. The Bobcats can finish no worse than seventh place in the league.
An outside chance remains that the Bobcats can win a share of the regular season title, but a lot would have to go right. The Bobcats would have to sweep Dallas Baptist, San Jose State (9-15) would have to sweep first-place Cal State-Bakersfield, and UTA can’t sweep against Sacramento State.
If Sacramento State wins two and everything else happens, the Bobcats would finished tied for first with Cal State-Bakersfield. In that case, the Bobcats would have the edge for beating Cal-State Bakersfield two of three this year. But if UTA wins two and everything else happens, then the UTA would join the tie at the top. In a tie between Texas State, UTA and Cal State-Bakersfield, the head-to-head record for all three teams is 3-3.
The Bobcats put away their Friday night opener at UTA by scoring three times in the sixth inning for a 7-1 lead. Lucas Hempel pitched 6 1/3 innings for the Bobcats and allowed two runs on five hits, improving his record to 4-2. Six different Texas State hitters each drove in a run. Cody Lovejoy led the hit parade with three of the Bobcats’ 13 knocks.
Then came that Saturday game, the 6-5 loss in 14 innings. Garrett Mattlage led the Bobcats with three hits and Andrew Stumph drove in three runs.
After the Bobcats held a 4-3 lead going to the bottom of the eighth, UTA did more with small ball than the Bobcats could do with big ball. UTA’s Travis Sibley, the younger brother of former Texas State star Tyler Sibley, led off the eighth with a single for UTA, took second on a sacrifice, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Derek Miller to tie the game, 4-4. Tyler Pearson homered for Texas State in the 11th to give the Bobcats a 5-4 lead, but UTA matched that run in the bottom of the inning with a leadoff single, a sacrifice and a two-out single. UTA then took it in the 14th with a similar formula — a leadoff single, a sacrifice, an intentional walk and a two-out single.
UTA won going away in Sunday’s rubber game, scoring twice in the fourth, three times in the fifth and twice in the sixth on its way to the 10-2 victory. Lovejoy had three hits and both RBI for Texas State.Email | Print