Texas State’s baseball team came won two of three games in their weekend series against Dallas Baptist at Bobcat Ballpark, securing third place in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) standings.
That means the Bobcats are the third seed in the WAC Tournament, which takes place this week in Grand Prairie. The Bobcats will open the tournament at 11 a.m. Thursday against New Mexico State.
The tournament includes eight of the league’s ten teams. The entrants are divided into two pools of four, with Texas State being joined in its pool by second-seeded Texas-Arlington (UTA), sixth-seeded New Mexico State and seventh-seeded Dallas Baptist. The Bobcats are 5-4 against those teams this season. The winner of that pool will play the winner of the opposite pool Saturday at 1 p.m.
The other Texas State pool games will be Dallas Baptist Friday at 11 a.m. and against UTA Saturday at 7 p.m.
The Bobcats entered last weekend with a very slim chance to win the league’s regular season title, but that went away when Cal State-Bakersfield and UTA both won on Friday night.
The Bobcats won their Friday night game, as well, downing Dallas Baptist, 7-6, in a 15-inning thriller. After the Bobcats scored three runs in the fifth, the game was tied at 5-5 all the way until the 15th inning. Down, 5-2, going to their half of the fifth, the Bobcats tacked up a run on a solo homer by Garrett Mattlage. After the next batter, Cody Lovejoy, walked, Andrew Stumph followed with a two-run homer to tie the game.
Texas State relievers Scott Grist, Donnie Hart and Hunter Lemke combined for nine shutout innings of relief before Dallas Baptist got to Lemke for a run to take a 6-5 lead. But the Bobcats tied it in the 15th when Ben McElroy doubled to center field on a 3-2 pitch, knocking in J.D. Stinnett. Later in the same inning, Matt Smith singled up the middle, still with one out, to knock in McElroy with the winning run.
Dallas Baptist came back to win the next game on Saturday, 12-5. Mattlage led Texas State with three hits.
The Bobcats won the Sunday rubber game, 12-8, behind a 14-hit performance. Down, 8-6, going to the bottom of the sixth inning, Texas State exploded for six runs to take the lead for good. During the big inning, Kevin Sah hit a two-run double, Colby Targun hit a two-run single and Brooks Orton hit a two-run double.
The Bobcats finished their regular season 27-28 overall, but 16-11 in the WAC. Dallas Baptist is 28-28 and 13-14.
The winner of the WAC Tournament will receive the league’s automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament.