With a chance to secure a playoff spot on the line Texas State baseball (33-18, 15-11 SBC) fell short against Louisiana-Lafayette (34-18, 16-10 SBC) 9-5, dropping the weekend series Saturday afternoon at Russo Park.
Louisiana-Lafayette junior right-handed pitcher Carson Fluno, pitched a scoreless first five innings, allowing only two Bobcat hits. Fluno’s strong start accompanied with an aggressive offensive small ball attack by the Ragin' Cajun hitters, which saw five bunts and three stolen bases, opened up a 3-0 lead through five.
Louisiana had no lack of offensive output Saturday. Lead-off hitter and senior third-basemen Max Marusak went 3-5 with a double, a bunt single and two runs scored. He reached base in all six of his plate appearances.
Fluno finished his strong outing with: 5 IP, 0 ER, and 7 K’s, making way for junior right handed pitcher David Christie, who threw four innings, also punching out seven Bobcat hitters to close out the game.
Texas State senior right-handed pitcher Zeke Wood, who got the start on the mound was on the receiving end of the early small ball. The first three of Wood’s 4 ER came without a hit. He allowed a run on a wild pitch in the fifth inning. The wild pitch was Wood's third on the season.
Texas State struggled to get anything going at the plate striking out 14 times as a team and were held scoreless until the eighth inning.
Before a 47-minute lightening delay in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Texas State offense was stifled.
Coming out of the delay with six defensive replacements, the Bobcat offense started to get going. A base hit by pinch-hitter junior outfielder Kameron Weil set up a two-run homerun by senior outfielder Jose Gonzalez to put Texas State on the board for the first time.
Gonzalez was a bright spot in the Bobcat lineup Saturday afternoon. Going 3-4 with two RBI’s and reaching base four times, he had no issue seeing the ball in Lafayette.
Offensive struggles were not the only hinderance for Texas State. Defensive struggles plagued them throughout the afternoon. Two errors and the wild pitch led to a pair of un-earned runs for the Rain' Cajuns.
With conference opponent South Alabama dropping their game against Costal Carolina earlier in the day, a win for either Texas State or Louisiana meant that they were mathematically guaranteed a playoff spot.
After the series loss, the Bobcats will have to turn their focus to Louisiana-Monroe next weekend in San Marcos to punch their ticket to the postseason.
The first pitch in the final game between Texas State and Louisiana-Lafayette is scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday, May 14 at Russo Park in Lafayette, Louisiana. The game will be available to stream on ESPN+.
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