By Kyle Spencer
Texas State baseball was swept over the weekend at Bobcat Ballpark by conference opponent Little Rock. Texas State is now 9-6 in conference while Little Rock improves to 11-6 and replaces Texas State as the second place team in the Sun Belt.
The series was initially scheduled for a Friday, Saturday and Sunday game-plan, but due to severe thunderstorms, the Sunday afternoon game was moved to Friday at 3 p.m., creating a double header to start the series with the finale remaining on Saturday. The start time for the game on Saturday was moved up from 3 p.m. to 1 p.m. due to the weather concerns.
In the doubleheader on Friday, the Bobcats suffered heartbreak in game one falling to the Trojans 8-7. The Bobcats were up 6-4 in the bottom of the eighth when Tanner Hill knocked in an insurance run with the bases loaded to increase the lead to 7-4. In the next inning, the Bobcats pulled starter Lucas Humpal, who had pitched the previous eight innings and struck out 3 straight in the top of the eighth, and replaced him with Pasquale Mazzocoli, the save leader on this Texas State team.
Mazzocoli gave up four runs in the top of the ninth to give the Trojans a one run lead. In the bottom of the ninth, the Bobcats were unable to manufacture any offense to answer the Trojan surge and dropped the first of the double header 8-7.
In game two, the Bobcats were unable to quickly bounce back from the heartbreak and dropped the second of the double header 10-2.
Tanner Hill was able to knock in a solo shot in the second and Jonathan Ortega followed suit with another solo homer in the eighth.
As a total, the Bobcats were out-hit 14-3 while the defense gave up two errors. The Bobcats seemed to have their energy drained from the dramatic game one and could not stop the hot bats of Little Rock.
In game three, it looked as if it was going to be a lot like game two, with the Trojans knocking in four runs in the second, driving in three runs off of a home run by Kegan Meyn, and the Bobcats not putting any numbers up until the bottom of the fifth.
The Bobcats fought back and scored three runs in the eighth behind excellent pitching from the Bobcat’s bullpen. Quinn Atwood and Anthony Pagano were the two relief pitchers in the game with Atwood coming in for the starter Geisler in the fifth inning. The Trojans were held without a run for the remainder of the ballgame allowing Texas State to get back into it, and cut the lead down to one run in the bottom of the ninth.
With runners on the corners and two outs, the Bobcats had an opportunity to extend, or possibly win the game, but Luke Sherley hit into an unfortunate flyout to end the game and complete the series sweep for Little Rock.
The Bobcats are 21-16 overall and are 9-6 in conference.
Next up on the schedule is a non-conference outing against nationally ranked Texas A&M at Blue Bell park on Tuesday. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. with the pre-game show coming at 5:45 on KTSW 89.9.