After scoring 112 runs in 12 games, the Texas State Bobcats all stopped hitting at once Tuesday night, suffering the only no-hitter in their history.
Texas Longhorns right hander Kenn Kasparek threw the 20th no-hitter in his school’s history, coming within one pitch of a perfect game in Texas’ 11-0 win at Disch-Falk Field.
The Bobcats fell to 24-19 overall and 1-12 against the big football universities in Texas.
While the Bobcats have struggled against the larger universities, it’s not for lack of hitting. In the most recent five games against Texas Christian, Texas, Houston, Texas A&M and Baylor, the Bobcats scored 44 runs.
Meanwhile, Texas pitching has not been a strong suit this year. The Longhorns entered Tuesday’s outing without a compete game from their staff, and Kasparek entered the game with modest totals like a 2-3 record and a 5.35 ERA.
Not only had the Longhorns lost six of their last Big 12 games before Tuesday, but they’d lost a week earlier to Texas-San Antonio and two weeks earlier to Texas-Arlington.
In other words, the very idea that Texas might no-hit Texas State came as a bolt from nowhere. Furthermore, Kasperek fell behind 1-0 against 18 of 27 Texas State hitters, making a no-hitter even less likely.
But Kasparek no doubt kept Texas State off balance with his new emphasis on the breaking ball, which has been a project for Texas pitching coach Skip Johnson. When a pitcher falls behind 1-0, then can throw breaking balls for strikes, combined with a 90-plus MPH fastball, the hitting can be tough.
“(Kasparek) was able to locate the fastball working off the breaking ball,” Texas coach Augie Garrido told reporters. “Even the last pitch of the game at three-and two-was a breaking ball. He kept that the entire night and was able to stay ahead of the hitters.”
Kasparek threw only 69 of 113 pitches for strikes, yet walked no Texas State hitters and struck out nine. The only Texas State hitter to reach was Thomas Field, who Kasperek hit with a pitch leading off the seventh inning. But Laurn Randell followed by hitting into a double play, erasing Field.
Texas scored two unearned runs in the second inning, then scored in each of the next five innings.
The Bobcats return to the Southland Conference this weekend with three games at Stephen F. Austin. At 14-7 in the SLC, the Bobcats are three games behind UTSA in the West Division with six league games left to play.