By Eddie Lerma
A 10-4 score after 11 innings does little justice to show just how close the Texas State Bobcats came to defeating the Texas Longhorns. The Bobcats, having already come from 2-runs down, loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth with one out and weren’t able to score.
This game was the 53rd meeting between Texas State and UT. It has now been 23 games in a row since Texas State defeated the Longhorns.
Bobcat left-handed pitcher Brandon Lewis started for the Bobcats at the mound. Texas right-handed pitcher Morgan Cooper had his first start since undergoing Tommy John surgery in the 2015 season. The righty proceeded to strike out Ortega, Sherley and Studdard in each of their first at-bats.
At the bottom of the second inning, freshman Ryan Newman started off with a single and then third baseman Nick Perez was walked. A single by sophomore catcher Jared Huber provided a run for the Bobcats which then followed by a balk, which scored Nick Perez, to give the Bobcats an early 2-0 lead.
Designated hitter Ryan Newman had a single in the bottom of the fourth and would later steal second on a wild pitch. First baseman Tanner Hill gets walked. Finally a pitching change for Texas with freshman Beau Ridgeway coming in relief ended the crazy inning.
At the top of the fifth, a squeeze would award the first run for the longhorns and a double to left field that got past third baseman Nick Perez would tie the score at two. A single to left field by Brett Boswell would award Texas their third run and first lead. Freshman right-handed pitcher Brayden Theriot replaced Lewis at the mound at the top of the fifth. A sliding triple scored another run for the Longhorns at the top of the sixth.
In the bottom of the sixth, Tanner Hill took matters into his own hands and crushed a solo home-run. The homer was the senior’s third of the year. In response to the homerun, Texas senior pitcher Travis Duke came in to pitch at the bottom of the sixth. Pasquale Mazzoccoli came in to maintain the one run deficit for the Bobcats and was rewarded when Ryan Newman hit a solo homerun to tie the game at four a piece in the bottom of the eighth.
Pasquale Mazzoccoli wound up being the losing pitcher for the Bobcats, not before a solid four innings of relief, in which the reliever struck out four Longhorns.
The Bobcat offense had a chance in the bottom of the ninth but Bobcat Head Coach Ty Harrington chose to play conservatively with his baserunners.
“It certainly was an idea, Luke Sherley has been really really good over the last week, if they threw a breaker on the dirt on the squeeze or something like that, but instead we gave him a chance to do what he’s been doing over the last week and a half,” said Harrington.
Six runs in the eleventh inning were too much to handle for the Bobcats as they fall to 5-4 with a 10-4 loss to the Texas Longhorns.