After a disappointing series against South Alabama, Texas State was looking for one more win to sweep ULM in their weekend series at home March 22-24. With a combination of good pitching and batting, the Bobcats were able to accomplish their goal with a decisive 13-1 blowout.
With a complete game under Connor Reich and a grand slam from Ryan Newman, the Cats defeated the Warhawks Sunday afternoon to complete the sweep. The victory brings Texas State’s record to 15-9 overall and 4-2 in conference play.
“I thought we did an unbelievable job pitching,” head baseball coach Ty Harrington said. “It gets lost that we scored 13 runs and everybody thinks it’s all about offense…inning for inning we had zeros going up and you got to match it.”
In the 2nd inning, ULM walked three straight batters to load the bases. Travon Brenton hit a sacrifice single to let Texas State take an early 1-0 lead. Despite having runners on second and third with two outs, the Bobcats stranded the runners to end the inning.
In the bottom of the fifth, Felipe Rodriguez registered the first hit for the Bobcats with a single into left field. Texas State capitalized on the base hit with a bunt single by Connor Reich to give the Cats runners on 2nd and 1st.
Dalton Shuffield delivered a sacrifice bunt to move the runners, but a throwing error allowed Rodriguez to score and put runners on the corners to lead ULM 2-1.
Shuffield stole 2nd base following a Will Hollis strikeout to put Texas State in scoring position with one out.
Jaylen Hubbard hit a single into center field and allowed both baserunners to score to extend the lead 4-1. Hubbard then put the Bobcats back into scoring position by stealing second base. A dropped third strike allowed Skyler Valentine to go to first and shift the baserunner to 3rd.
Ryan Newman hit a single into left field as Hubbard scored to put Texas State up 5-1 with runners at 2nd and 1st. A double steal by both Valentine and Newman put the Bobcats into another scoring opportunity, and a walk allowed the team to load the bases.
Benton hit a single into right field to score Valentine while loading the bases and put Texas State up by five. Following a strikeout and a ground, the Warhawks finally stopped the scoring outburst.
Following a one-run sixth inning, Texas State scored six runs in the seventh including a Ryan Newman grand slam to run-rule ULM.
Connor Reich was the lone pitcher to earn the win for the Bobcats, improving his pitching record to 4-0 while throwing for eight strikeouts and one earned run through seven innings.
“It crucial to keep momentum,” Reich said after the game. “To keep momentum you have to throw strike one.”
Texas State resumes play Tuesday against in-state opponent Rice University before resuming conference play with a three-game road series against Appalachian State University.