The Texas State baseball team defeated the University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley 11-9 Wednesday at Bobcat Ballpark.
After losing a 10 inning 4-3 decision last May to UTRGV, Texas State looked determined to gain revenge.
The Bobcats followed UTRGV’s four-hit, two-run first frame with a three-run bottom one bomb over the left field wall from junior right fielder Teddy Hoffman.
Hoffman’s ninth homerun of the year places him at second highest in the Sun Belt Conference, one behind the leader.
“I had two strikes on me, so I just tried to stay short and simple and he hung a breaker,” Hoffman said.
Poor pitching early from the Bobcats led to two more RGV runs in the following frame. However, UTRGV couldn’t capitalize on their early offensive success.
After five hits in the first two innings, UTRGV failed to earn a hit in innings three, four and five.
Sophomore starting pitcher Brandon Lewis pitched for one inning and allowed four earned runs, four hits and three walks.
The Bobcat offense carried the momentum from Hoffman’s homer, as they recorded one run in the first five innings to take a 7-4 lead into the sixth.
UTRGV’s offense began to take advantage of the Bobcat’s poor pitching while the Bobcats failed to translate hits into runs.
The 7-4 deficit UTRGV faced was cut down to 7-6 entering the bottom of the seventh until junior short stop Luke Sherley hit an RBI single to center to extend the Bobcat lead to two.
In the bottom of the eighth, sophomore second baseman Jonathan Ortega doubled to plate three runs, and increased the Bobcat lead to five going into the final frame.
Texas State head coach Ty Harrington said his team provided solid hits throughout the night, but said Ortega’s answer in the eighth played a huge role in the win.
UTRGV managed to earn two runs in the top of the ninth after back-to-back errors from the Bobcat infield, but the game ended on a fly-out with the bases loaded.
In regards to the tense finish to the game, Harrington preached the importance of focus late in games.
“They hit some decent balls on us, and two balls came up on us in the infield and that’s the way this game is every once in a while,” Harrington said. “It’s just one of those nights – man, it’s a crazy game – you’ve got to take care of the baseball.”
Senior pitcher Brandon Courville earned his second win after he pitched 4.1 innings, allowed two hits, one earned run, walked four and struck out three.
Key offensive contributors include Hoffman (2-3) and three RBI’s, Ortega (2-5) and four RBI’s, freshman designated hitter Cole Coffey (2-3) with one run scored and sophomore first baseman Ryan Newman (2-3) with one RBI.