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May 12th, 2012
Texas State bests rival UTSA, 8-3

Garrett Mattlage at bat. TEXAS STATE PHOTO


Texas State recovered from a rough first inning to walk away with an 8-3 victory over UT-San Antonio on Friday night at Bobcat Ballpark.

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Texas State (28-19) vs. UT-San Antonio (20-29)

Location: Bobcat Ballpark

Time: 5 p.m. Saturday, May 12

» Admission: Free

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After falling behind early, Texas State bounced back with a five-run fourth inning to take the lead for good and win for the ninth straight time over its I-35 rival dating back to 2009. Bobcat athletics officials said the game drew 1,221 spectators.

The Bobcats and Roadrunners will face off again 5 p.m. today at Bobcat Ballpark. The game had been scheduled to be played in San Antonio but was moved here because of field conditions there.

On Friday, junior Travis Ballew tied his career high for strikeouts with 12 — all swinging — on Friday night, marking the third time this season that the righty has tossed 12 punch outs.

He limited the Roadrunners to just six hits and one walk over seven inning while he improved to 10-3 overall. Ballew moved into a tie for fourth in the Texas State record books for single-season wins with 10 and sixth place in single-season strikeouts totals with 107 so far this season.

“I thought the key to the game was Travis Ballew,” said head coach Ty Harrington. “He stayed patient and competitive. It shows how much he has grown. I was proud of him.”

Former Bobcat William Brunson holds the single-season wins record at 12, while Carson Smith’s 129 strikeouts a season ago were a single-season high.

Offensively, Texas State scored eight runs on eight hits while also taking eight walks as a team for the game.

Texas State improved to 28-19 overall and 16-12 in the Southland Conference with the win, while UTSA dropped to 20-29 overall and 9-18 in the league.

UTSA got on the scoreboard early with three runs in the first inning. Texas State answered in the bottom of the fourth inning with five runs to take the lead.

Casey Kalenkosky began the fourth inning with a single and two batters later moved to second on a single from Nick Smelser. Brooks Orton grounded into a fielder’s choice and narrowly beat out the throw to first to keep the inning alive. A wild pitch to the next batter brought home Kalenkosky.

Ben McElroy hit a two-RBI double off to tie the game, 3-3. A passed ball and an RBI single from Jeff McVaney brought the score to 5-3.

Texas State extended its lead to five runs in the seventh inning. Orton hit a sacrifice fly to bring home Colby Targun. Then Garrett Mattlage hit a two-run home run over the right field wall for his first career homer.

“Mattlage is going to be a great player here,” Harrington said. “He has a lot of great things ahead of him.”

McElroy, Smelser and McVaney all finished with two hits on the night for the Bobcats, while Mattlage scored two runs and knocked in a pair.

Texas State and UTSA will play at 5 p.m. at Bobcat Ballpark on Saturday. Junior left-handed pitcher Colton Turner (5-2, 2.00 ERA) will make the start for the Bobcats.

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