By Reily Chestnut
Assistant Sports Director
What could’ve been a tough night for any mid-major school taking on a top-15 program turned out to show just how tough a mid-major program can be. While the final score reads 7-5 Texas A&M over Texas State, I feel that this night still proved one thing…these Bobcats have some claws.
For instance, the team jumped on the Aggies’ starter early and with the unlikeliest power source. Don’t get me wrong, Jonathan Ortega is a phenomenal hitter and can do so many things for this team. But I was extremely surprised when J.O. (a probable draft pick this June) hit his 12th career dinger to give the Bobcats an early 2-0 lead. That good feeling wouldn’t last long though as the Aggies would crack open Bobcat starter Brandon Lewis to put them back in front 3-2 after the first inning. Okay…but the Bobcats just got two quick ones off Aggie starter Chandler Jozwiak so they can swing (nice pun) this back in their favor, right? Sike, Texas A&M decided to throw a change-up and bring in the first reliever of the ballgame after only one inning out of Jozwiak.
This would be a recurring theme as the Aggies brought in seven pitchers in this outing against the Bobcats. Can you expect anything else from a school that idolizes the 12th man? Apparently they wanted to see how close they could get. Just kidding…but how would the Bobcats deal with facing a new arm every other inning. To take a page from the Beatles, just keep racking up the hits baby. It helps that Lewis calmed down to give up just 4 runs in his 4 innings of work after getting popped for three right off the bat (I’m on fire). It seemed that every time the Aggies got the lead back, the Bobcats would answer with a game tying hit because…well they did…all the way up to the 7th inning when the game was tied 5-5. Unfortunately, like the Beatles, the good times would come to an end.
The Aggies would take the lead once again in the 7th before tacking on an insurance run in the eighth to help set up Nolan Hoffman for his seventh save of the season and a 7-5 Aggies victory in Blue Bell Park. Not so sweet for the Bobcats as they end up falling short to the #14 ranked program in the country. But after tonight the Bobcats can ride home to San Marcos for an eight game home-stand knowing they fought hard.
The ‘Cats finished with 11 hits. Catapulting the effort was Ortega with another two hit performance. Joining him were right fielder Dylan Paul and first basemen Ryan Newman. However, the best performance at the plate belonged to left fielder Dalton Shuffield as the true freshman got three hits and scored a run, his third multi-hit performance over the last four games.
The loss drops Texas State to 20-16-1 this season with a huge weekend here in San Marvelous against current second seed South Alabama. Catch every game against the Jaguars right here on KTSW! Thanks for reading!
Featured image by Giovanni Gilmore.