Hits were few and far between Saturday afternoon at Bobcat Ballpark. Runs, for that matter, were equally as scarce in a 1-0 loss by Texas State.
Sophomore Taylor Black took the mound for the Bobcats, while Houston countered with senior Austin Pruitt. Black was good; Pruitt was better.
Pruitt, who led the nation with a 0.81 earned-run average while at Navarro Junior College in 2011, dominated Texas State’s inconsistent offense. The Bobcats only collected one hit, a single by sophomore designated hitter Cody Lovejoy in the seventh inning, giving the Cougars (4-2) their first one-hitter since May 16, 2002.
This happened one night after Texas State slugged 10 hits en route to a 6-1 series-opening win.
“Their guy was that much better than we were offensively,” Bobcat head coach Ty Harrington said. “Yesterday, we were a different offensive team and that has a lot to do with him. We just have to continue to grow.”
As Texas State (2-4) struggles to find its stride at the plate, Harrington’s pitching staff must continue to shoulder the burden. For the second consecutive game, the Bobcats’ hurlers were up to the task.
Outside of a hanging breaking pitch that Houston third baseman Jonathan Davis ripped for an RBI double in the second inning, Black went toe-to-toe with Pruitt. Black only allowed three hitters to reach base from the third until the seventh and struck out six in that span.
“For the first three innings, my slider was coming out of my hand kind of weird and the fastball was kind of running on me, but after that I settled down,” Black said. “I found my breaker. I found my fastball. I just made pitches to keep us in the game.”
Texas State’s hitters just never gave Black a chance to earn his first win of the season.
Pruitt kept the Bobcats off-balance throughout the game, inducing 10 fly outs and four ground outs. Before Lovejoy ripped his single between first and second base, Texas State failed to put solid contact on the ball and left two guys out to dry on hit-and-runs.
“As good as his stuff was, we have to do a better job of creating some offense,” Harrington said. “We know that we’re not going to sit in there and swing away: we don’t have that kind of offense now. We have to be able to execute.”
The Bobcats and Cougars wrap up the three-game series tomorrow. First pitch is scheduled for noon.