The Texas State Bobcats baseball team kept their 2018 campaign alive, surviving an elimination game against the No. 7 Little Rock Trojans in day three of the Sun Belt Conference Championship.
With the win, Texas State has now eliminated Little Rock in the SBC Championship in consecutive years.
The Bobcats fell behind 2-0 early in the first inning when the Trojans jumped out to a two run lead, but Jaylen Hubbard, junior third baseman, got an RBI-single to score Jonathan Ortega, junior second baseman, and cut the lead in half in the bottom of the opening frame.
The pitchers for both teams eventually found their rhythms, throwing several scoreless innings before the Bobcats struck again in the bottom of the fifth inning, courtesy of a two-RBI triple from Dalton Shuffield, freshman outfielder. Shuffield would combine with Luke Sherley, senior shortstop, to perfectly execute a double steal, grabing home and giving the Bobcats a 4-2 advantage.
For Sherley this was his 219th game appearance, tying the Texas State all-time record.
The Trojans were able to get within one run in the top of the sixth inning, but Texas State put up two insurance runs to seal the win in the seventh inning.
Connor Reich (6-3), junior pitcher, walked away with the win on the mound for the Bobcats. Reich would allow two earned runs on four hits through five innings. Reich accounted for five strikeouts and three walks. Braden Pearson, junior pitcher, earned his third save of the year as he allowed just two hits and struck out three.
Hubbard would pace the offense, going 2-3 with two RBI’s.
The 6-seed Bobcats will face either 2-seed Louisiana or 3-seed Troy in an second elimination game May 25. at 6:30 p.m.