Texas State baseball (12-17 overall, 3-6 Sun Belt) fell 2-1 in its three-game series against the University of Texas at Arlington Mavericks (12-15 overall, 3-3 Sun Belt).
In the first game, both teams were scoreless for five innings. In the bottom of the sixth, Texas State junior infielder Justin Thompson hit a solo home run out to left field. Soon after, sophomore infielder/outfielder Jose Gonzalez scored on a wild pitch to give the Bobcats a 2-0 lead.
Texas State managed to hold on as it prevented the Mavericks from getting on the scoreboard.
Bobcats' senior pitcher Zachary Leigh pitched for a complete game with seven strikeouts, three allowed hits and no runs.
“Honestly, every time I go out that’s the plan, to go nine [innings],” Leigh says. “The first few starts of the season hadn’t been what I wanted. Just got to keep going out and trusting my stuff and when I pitch like that, good stuff is going to happen.”
The second contest quickly turned into a rout as the Mavericks went up to bat at the top of the second inning.
Senior infielder Josh Minjarez hit an RBI single to put UTA on the board. Following the run, sophomore pitcher/outfielder JD Wadleigh hit a two-RBI single. Freshman infielder Cason Gregory advanced the score to 4-0 off a pitching error.
Continuing in the top of the second, UTA senior outfielder Connor Aube hit a two-run home run to cap the inning with a 6-0 lead.
Texas State got its first score in the bottom of the third off an RBI single from junior infielder Dalton Shuffield to cut the deficit to 6-1.
UTA responded at the top of the fifth with a two-RBI shot from senior outfielder Anthony Dominguez to extend its lead to 8-1. The Mavericks hit a solo home run to go up 9-1 at the top of the sixth.
The Bobcats scored a final time in the seventh as Gonzalez hit a two-run homer, but that was it for both teams as UTA won 9-3.
The last match of the series was uneventful early on as the game was scoreless for the better part of three innings.
In the bottom of the third, Texas State got on the board with an RBI single from graduate catcher Bryce Bonner to third base and a run from Gonzalez off a throwing error to go up 2-0.
Senior outfielder Chase Evans extended the Bobcats' lead in the fourth with a two-RBI double. An RBI single by Thompson put them up 5-0.
Graduate pitcher Garrett Hermann threw for six innings without allowing a run.
In the seventh inning, UTA finally got on the board as Wadleigh hit an RBI single out to right field to bring home sophomore infielder Tyler Rice.
Despite being down 5-1 entering the eighth, the Mavericks responded to the deficit. Aube had the first at-bat of the inning and hit a solo home-run out to left-center.
The tide immediately shifted to the Mavericks' favor as Minjarez took the plate with the bases loaded. With a 3-2 count, he hit a grand slam to take a 6-5 lead, immediately putting the Bobcats on their heels. To add insult to injury, Gregory hit an RBI single to go up 7-5.
Texas State took the plate in the bottom of the eighth but could not respond as the team only got one hit.
In the ninth inning, the Mavericks advanced their lead to 10-5 via an RBI double down the left-field line from Minjarez and a two-RBI single from senior catcher/infielder/outfielder Andrew Miller.
The Bobcats created one last scoring effort with a home from Gonzalez down the left-field line, making the final score 10-6 with a win for the Mavericks.
Looking forward, the Bobcats will face the University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros (13-15 overall, 5-7 WAC).
Leading players for the Vaqueros include junior utility Freddy Rojas Jr., the fifth-year infielder Christian Sepulveda and graduate catcher Conrado Diaz.
Rojas leads the team with a .727 slugging percentage, .364 batting average, 17 RBI and six home runs. Sepulveda leads the team with 18 RBI with a slugging percentage of .516 and a batting average percentage of .344. Diaz has a slugging percentage of .462, 15 RBI and a batting average of .297 percent.
For the Bobcats, leaders for the team include Thompson, Gonzalez and Bonner. Thompson leads the team in RBI (28), hits (39) and home runs (four). He also has a .342 batting average and a .518 slugging percentage. Gonzalez has a slugging percentage of .598, four home runs, 13 RBI and a .310 batting average. Bonner leads this season with a batting average of .293, 11 RBI and a .500 slugging percentage.
The matchup will take place at 6 p.m. on April 6 at the UTRGV Baseball Stadium in Edinburg, Texas. The WAC Digital Network will stream the contest.