College Baseball: Bobcats outlast DBU
All Texas State freshman Matt Smith wanted to do was eat.
When Smith stepped up to the plate Thursday night with two runners on in the bottom of the 12th inning, he had fajitas on his mind. If Smith’s sinking line drive found grass, he and his teammates could finally enjoy their catered dinner.
“I was just hoping for it to drop, so we could go home and eat,” Smith said. “I got a fastball down the middle and I tried to take advantage of it.”
Instead, Dallas Baptist left fielder Austin Listi robbed Smith of a game-winning hit and the marathon game continued. A few innings later, Smith made sure Listi wouldn’t catch it by keeping it on the ground.
Smith, who entered the game as a defensive replacement in the 11th inning, delivered a clutch bases-loaded single in the bottom of the 15th inning to send the Bobcats to a 7-6 come-from-behind win over the Patriots. It ended a game that lasted four hours and 56 minutes.
“We were all doing what we could — putting some good swings on it,” Smith said. “We just battled through and eventually won, so that’s all that matters.”
Texas State needed a win like that since it had been on the opposite end of that situation so many times this season. Just five days earlier, the Bobcats dropped a 14-inning affair to UT Arlington and fell to 1-5 in extra-inning games.
It sucked every bit of momentum out of Texas State’s dugout and perpetuated its disastrous 10-2 loss Sunday afternoon.
“We came out last Friday and just kicked them right in the gut (a 7-2 win by the Bobcats over the Mavericks) and they returned the favor to us two games in a row,” said Texas State junior pitcher Donnie Hart, who threw 3 1/3 scoreless innings in relief. “We might be young and face a lot of adversity, but there is no ‘give up’ in anybody.”
DBU gave the Bobcats just about every chance to relinquish control Thursday, as the visitors took three distinct leads (4-1, 5-2, 6-5) in the third, fifth and 15th innings.
Texas State (26-27, 15-10 WAC) wouldn’t surrender and stormed back each time. Home runs by sophomore shortstop Garrett Mattlage and senior designated hitter Andrew Stumph punctuated a fifth-inning rally, while Smith’s single capped the Bobcats’ 15th-inning comeback.
“I’m proud for the fact that these guys could have said, ‘That’s it,’ but they didn’t,” Texas State head coach Ty Harrington said. “For them to win this game, it was important for them to put all that effort in and get something back in return. It had started to get to them a little bit, but they can breathe a little bit easier now.”
Even though the Bobcats went 15 innings, they only used four pitchers. While Hart and Lemke might need a rest in the second game of the series this afternoon, their bullpen mates should be up to the task a bit more than the Patriots (27-27, 12-13), who used six relievers.
“I’m not going to lie: It kind of sucks for them,” Hart said. “We’re ready to go. Nobody is deflated.”