By Reily Chestnut
With the need to pick up some confidence going into the Sun Belt tournament, Texas State struck up a huge win at home against the UT-Arlington Mavericks with the score at 7-6.
Let’s set the situation going into the opening game in the final regular season series for the Bobcats. The ‘Cats haven’t won a conference series since April 15th against ULM. They also have only won four games since then, counting this victory against UT-Arlington. Whereas for the standings, the Bobcats can finish no higher than third in the SBC West. However, the ‘Cats can play the role of spoilers in this matchup versus the Mavs. You see, the Mavs are looking for a win down in San Marvelous to capture the SBC West division title and a series win for a chance at the Sun Belt conference championship to end the season. However, with the victory in game one of this three game-set the Bobcats are one more win away from making that chance disappear. But now onto recap the action between Texas State and UT-Arlington.
The 1st inning saw a quick start for the Bobcats that would only help in establishing a momentous start. With two outs, third basemen, Jaylen Hubbard, slapped a two strike single up the middle to bring home both Jonathan Ortega and Dylan Paul to put the ‘Cats up 2-0 after one inning. Flash forward to the top of the 4th and UTA slugger, Omar Salinas, put the Mavs on the board with a solo shot to cut it down to a 2-1 Bobcat lead. Still, you don’t have to wait very long for a rebuttal as first basemen, Travon Benton, hit his first Bobcat triple to bring home Hubbard and raise the score to 3-1. Next to keep it rolling along in the bottom of the 5th when right fielder, Teddy Hoffman, hit his team-leading 14th home run, a three-run dinger, to blow the game open at 6-1 ‘cats. Then came the encore right after Teddy cleared the bases with Hubbard striking a solo shot to keep the gravy train rolling along and the ‘cats up 7-1 going into the the back half of the game.
Now obviously, if you were paying attention to the final score listed above, thing’s are still plenty interesting after the offensive outlet by the Bobcats. So give credit to the Mavericks as they managed to bring home five runs over the 6th and 7th inning against Bobcat relievers Brandon Lewis and Connor Reich while putting two runners on in the 8th inning to threaten the ‘cats lead. But like a true savior sophomore righty Brayden Theriot came in and induced an inning ending double play to stop the UTA stampede short of its late inning success. Theriot would then shut down any hope of stealing Game one by pitching a one-two-three 9th to save the Bobcat’s victory.
The 7-6 win will be credited to freshman Nicholas Fraze, now putting his freshman season record at five and two, the most wins among regular Bobcat starters this year. Brayden Theriot also picks up the first save of his career in this win over UTA. The Bobcats now stand at twenty-six and twenty-eight on the season with a twelve and sixteen record in conference play.
Catch the Bobcats trying to take the series over the Mavs Friday, May 19th, or on Senior Day, Saturday, May 20th to end the regular season on a high note.
Featured image by Jessica Calderon.