’Cats leave no doubt in win over A&M
When Texas State last hosted Texas A&M back on March 30, 2010, Ty Harrington’s team used extra innings and a game-winning hit to knock off the Aggies.
On Tuesday, the Bobcats didn’t need either.
Behind a solid night at the plate by the bottom half of the lineup and a five-pronged pitching attack, Texas State dealt Texas A&M a 4-1 loss in front of the third-largest crowd in Bobcat Ballpark history. It was the Bobcats’ 10th consecutive win at home.
“They’re a big-name team and to come in here and play like we did, was good,” Texas State junior catcher Tyler Pearson said. “This momentum is going to help us out.
“We’d been playing well the last couple weeks and this is going to help us keep us rolling.”
Despite last weekend’s series loss to San Jose State, the Bobcats rode a tidal wave of emotion and energy into Tuesday’s tilt. Texas State had won five of its last seven games and put up an average of 6.6 runs per contest.
Prior to the game with the Aggies, the Bobcats remembered those who were affected by last Wednesday’s tragedy in West. Heath Harris — best friend of Texas State shortstop Garrett Mattlage (a West native) — threw out the honorary first pitch, which Mattlage caught. Harris’ father, Kenny, died in the explosion.
“Tonight was a way to give them a good feeling over something that was really rough on those guys,” Harrington said. “Energy levels were high all around.”
It didn’t take long for the Bobcats to give their fans something to cheer about, as they put up all four runs between the first and second innings.
After Texas A&M notched the game’s first run in the top of the first inning, Texas State responded with one of its own. Once starting pitcher Lucas Humpal settled down in the second, the Bobcats crossed the plate three times in that same frame by way of an RBI single by Pearson, a sacrifice fly by freshman second baseman J.D. Stinnett and an error on Aggie shortstop Blake Allemand.
“It’s big for us to turn the lineup over and knock in some runs,” said Pearson, who went 3 for 3, about the six-through-nine hitters. “When everybody is hitting, we’re a better team.”
Pearson, who bats eighth, also had the privilege of catching a dialed-in pitching staff.
Even though Texas A&M collected eight hits, only one of those batters made it 360 feet around the diamond. Humpal and former Saturday starter Scott Grist escaped several jams, while junior relievers Donnie Hart and Hunter Lemke tossed 2 1/3 innings of one-hit ball to close it out.
Texas State didn’t issue a walk and its hurlers threw 69 percent of its pitches for strikes.
“We minimized all night,” Harrington said. “They had guys on, but we were able to make quality pitches with runners on and again, we need to translate some of this Tuesday to this weekend.”
Beginning Friday, the Bobcats host Cal State-Bakersfield in a huge Western Athletic Conference series. Texas State is currently two games back of the Roadrunners with 12 conference games to go.