A more than five-year, eight-game losing streak was snapped after the Texas State baseball team dominated the Rice Owls 13-4 Tuesday night at Bobcat Ballpark.
Rice came into this midweek tilt with a 6-11 record on the year, and a 52-13 series lead over the Bobcats.
The Bobcats were first on the board in the bottom of the first inning after sophomore third baseman Jaylen Hubbard’s RBI sac-fly.
The second run of the game came in the bottom of the second after junior center fielder Derek Scheible’s RBI single.
After holding the Owls scoreless in the first two innings, Rice earned their first run of the game in the top of the third, and their second run in the top of the fourth.
The Bobcat offense hit a momentary halt in the bottom of the third, but made up for it with a six hit, and season-high seven run bottom of the fourth.
The first three runs of the inning came off three wild pitches from Rice pitcher Roel Garcia. Then after a combination of walks and an RBI single from first baseman Ryan Newman, Teddy Hoffman went yard with a three-run home run over the left-field wall to extend the Bobcat lead to 9-2. Hoffman leads Texas State in home runs with five on the season.
Although the offense was making all the highlights, the Bobcat defense exhibited poise as they held Rice scoreless in innings five, six and seven.
Texas State utilized seven pitchers in this game. Junior Cam Baird started the game and pitched for 3.2 innings, striking out four while allowing two runs.
Bobcats head coach Ty Harrington said that the coaching staff knew they had a lot of pitchers they wanted to get into the game. During midweek games, there is only a 24-hour span to flip your staff back around for a game on Friday, and the Bobcats have seen recent success with running pitchers out for one-inning stints.
“It doesn’t give the other team long to look at what the guy can do,” Harrington said. “It gets them sharp, but really it gives us a chance to win ballgames.”
Texas State scored one run in the bottom of the sixth, and three in the bottom of the eighth to effectively ice the game.
Rice managed to earn one run in both the eighth and ninth inning, but the hole they dug themselves proved too deep.
Nine different Bobcats scored this game. Six players recorded one, Hoffman and Benton scored two runs, and Hubbard scored three.
The Bobcats earned their first midweek victory of the season to improve to 10-7.
Texas State will play host defending national champion Coastal Carolina March 17-19 before welcoming Texas on March 22.
“I’m excited for our conference to have a defending national champion,” said Harrington. “I don’t think people understand they were the last team standing – out of all the D1 baseball teams, they were the last team standing – for them to be in our conference has brought a ton of respect to the Sun Belt and I’m excited to play against them.”