College Baseball: Missed opportunities hurt Bobcats
WACO — Texas State head coach Ty Harrington planned on seeing a number of pitchers in Tuesday night’s game at Baylor, which he did. Harrington used six different hurlers.
At the same time, Harrington expected more out of his team’s offense.
In a 6-3 loss to the Bears at Baylor Ballpark, the Bobcats’ inability to come through at the plate proved to be the difference. Texas State’s pitching staff gave up six runs off 10 hits, but the team’s offense stranded 14 runners on base and were unable to take advantage of five Baylor errors.
It was the Bobcats’ fourth consecutive loss to the Bears (1-3), which notched their first win of the season.
“We have got to find guys that can hit. I understand we have to be patient, but there’s a limit to that,” Harrington said. “If guys are in the lineup, we expect them to hit because we have guys outside the lineup that are trying to get in there. I am still looking for some sort of offensive chemistry, no matter what it might be.”
Texas State (1-3) took the lead in the top of first inning when senior catcher Ander Stumph laced a a single to left field to score sophomore shortstop Garrett Mattlage; but Stumph was thrown out at second trying to advance. Stumph wasn’t wasn’t credited with the RBI after the ball initially went past the BU fielder.
Baylor countered with a RBI single from Mitch Price in the bottom of the first, followed by five runs off six hits in the bottom of the second to take a 5-1 lead.
The Bobcats squandered a chance to answer with the bases loaded on two outs in the top of the third when sophomore Colby Targun grounded out to shortstop to end the inning. Overall, Texas State stranded five runners in scoring position.
Brooks Orton tried to give the Bobcats some momentum when he drove in Mattlage with a hard-hit shot to left field with one out, but it would be the only run of the inning as BU pitcher Austin Stone retired the next two hitters.
Baylor tacked a small-ball run in the bottom of the sixth, using a pair of sacrifices and a well-placed bunt down the third base line from Nathan Orf, upping the lead to 6-2, but held the Bobcats to only one run the next three innings (Cory Geisler’s two-out RBI single in the top of the ninth) to secure the win.
“There were enough opportunities for us to take advantage of and come up with some big hits, but we didn’t take advantage of them,” Harrington said. “Players have to learn to step into the moment, and we’re not doing that with the aggressiveness and confidence needed to be successful.”
One bright spot for the Bobcats was the return of senior right-hander Mitchell Pitts, who made his first appearance since undergoing arm surgery last summer. Pitts, a former all-conference performer, allowed one run on two hits in 1 2/3 innings.
“It was really good to see Mitchell pitch because he’s been working so ferociously to get back,” Harrington said. “He’s trying to get back sooner than most who undergo that kind of surgery, and I hope he holds up.”
Baylor starter Sean Spicer was credited with the win after three innings of work, while Bobcat starter Andrew Boes suffered the loss after allowing five runs on seven hits in 1 2/3 innings.
Texas State (1-3) is back in action Friday as the Bobcats open a three-game home series against Houston.