A record crowd of 2,593 people attended the opening game in the new baseball stadium against the Texas Longhorns Tuesday. It was Texas State’s home opener and the first time the Longhorns have visited San Marcos.
“I’ve waited so long for this day to get here,” said Coach . “I was very nervous and very anxious, but also very excited for the ballpark and then for Texas to come in here and play. I think it was a very special moment.”
However, the Bobcats lost 6-5.
The Bobcats pitching carried over from the weekend. In the first inning as starter, Michael Russo, junior pitcher, retired the first three Longhorn batters to make it a three-up and three-down inning.
The Bobcats took advantage of a hit by a pitch in the bottom of the first and a walk to score Tyler Sibley, freshman infielder, on a throwing error from David Hernandez, Texas shortstop.
The Longhorns threatened to score in the top of the second with two men on and two outs. However, Russo struck out Hernandez to close the inning.
The Bobcats added two more runs on four hits in the bottom of the second inning.
The Longhorns finally got on the board in the top of the fourth inning. Hernandez made up for earlier miscues by batting in two runs on a single to center. The tying run came after Conner Rowe, sophomore center fielder, hit a single to score Hernandez.
Austin Dicharry, Texas pitcher, was relieved by Keith Shinaberry after going three and one-third innings. Shinaberry forced Paul Goldschmidt, junior infielder, to hit into a double play with the bases loaded and end the inning.
Russo was relieved by Tim Heath, junior pitcher, in the top of the sixth. Russo gave up five hits and struck out four batters.
“I thought Michael was good,” Harrington said. “He ran out of gas. He had no business going back in the sixth, but I let him talk me into going back in.”
The Bobcats added two more runs on the board in the bottom of the sixth. Bret Atwood, sophomore centerfielder, singled to left-center field to score Adam Witek, senior second baseman. Spencer Dennis, senior outfielder, then hit a single to second to score Atwood. Dennis dove into the bag head first to beat the throw. The inning ended with the Bobcats up 5-3.
The Longhorns came back in the seventh inning when Brandon Belt, Texas first baseman, hit a home run over the left-center field wall. The score was 5-4 at the seventh inning stretch with Texas State ahead.
Tyler Brundridge, senior pitcher, came into the game in the eighth to try to preserve a one-run lead. However, he gave up two RBIs on two hits to give the Longhorns a 6-5 lead.
The score remained at 6-5 heading into the ninth. Lance Loftin, senior pitcher, came in to relieve Brundridge after he recorded one out. Loftin struck out one player and one runner was thrown out attempting to steal second.
The Bobcats tried to rally in the ninth but came up just short of a victory.
“Bottom line it was a great baseball game,” Harrington said. “They are the number two team in the country. I think you see why.”
Harrington said the team did its best.
“I saw some effort and courage out of our kids that I think was nice,” Harrington said. “I was proud of their courage.
“It was a great way to start a new ballpark, but I wish we would have won. That would have made it better.”
Texas State will play Friday, Saturday and Sunday against Purdue at home.