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Connor Reich pitches to an awaiting batter in the Feb. 17 tournament game.

Texas State’s baseball team began the 2019 campaign over the weekend as hosts of the Texas State tournament at Bobcat Ballpark and finished 2-1 with a win over Missouri State.

Opening day saw the first season opener victory since 2016 with an 8-3 win over Utah. Bobcat bats swung early and often against Utah, scoring in five frames and bringing home eight runs in 12 hits.

Junior starting pitcher Nicholas Fraze pitched just over six innings and allowed three runs on four hits and struck out two batters. Senior reliever Brandon Lewis pitched the last two and two-thirds innings, not allowing any runs or hits.

In Saturday’s matchup against Nevada, Texas State failed to bring home a single run in the game, losing 4-0.

Nevada had five hits, one more than Texas State’s four. The Bobcats left all runners stranded, eventually getting shut out by a 2-1 team.

Starting pitcher Hunter McMahon allowed three runs on four hits in five innings.

Despite losing to Nevada, Texas State head coach Ty Harrington said the team showed promise in the pitching depth chart.

“Look even losing yesterday, I thought (Hunter) McMahon was good, not great but good,” Harrington said. “I thought Brayden Theriot was good too, so there’s promise there.”

Texas State came back Sunday with a dominating 10-0 win over the nationally ranked Missouri State team. Harrington said he credited the impressive win to the team’s spike in energy.

“We needed it (the energy) to start in the locker room this morning and that’s exactly what happened,” Harrington said. “I asked the guys to come with a different presence because today was going to be an important day against a great baseball team. I thought our attitude in batting practice and walking to get here was different today.”

The Bobcat’s offense was impressive, bringing home 10 runs in nine hits and capitalizing on an error made by Missouri State’s infield. When the heart of the Bobcat’s lineup failed to get going early, a spark came from the six through nine-hole hitters. Especially junior outfielder Chase Evans, who capitalized on his first start with three hits and three RBI’s in three at-bats.

Harrington said Evan’s emergence during the bottom of the lineup proved crucial.

“How about Chase Evans? He jumps in there and gets three hits and offensively probably broke the game up for us,” Harrington said. “That bottom half was really special today. One of the things about having competitions in positions is it keeps everyone on edge. It keeps everybody working. Complacency is a bad thing in anybody’s life, especially sports.”

Just as impressive as Texas State’s offense was the outing by senior pitcher Connor Reich. Reich threw over six innings and allowed only one hit, carrying a no-hitter into the fifth inning.

“He’s a fifth-year senior, and he pitched like it today,” Harrington said. “At will, he could figure out what pitch he wanted to throw. He finished guys off with his fastball today, and he had command on both sides of the plate.”

Texas State will host Baylor University at 6 p.m. on Tuesday at the Bobcat Ballpark.

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