The Texas State baseball team is off to its best 11-game start since 2011 after sweeping Wagner this weekend to improve to 9-2 and extend the Bobcats’ winning streak to seven.
The ball club was down 6-5 heading into the eighth inning in Saturday’s second game in a double-header when Garrett Mattlage, junior shortstop, hit a grand slam to right field with two outs, taking a 9-6 lead.
“We knew (Wagner) had not played on a field for a while,” Mattlage said. “We knew we had a clear advantage because we have been playing for two months now. I was trying to play my best ball and go out there and do my job.”
The Seahawks led for most of the second game Saturday, and 4 of their 5 earned runs were credited to junior Austen Williams who pitched 5.2 innings. Williams allowed 4 earned runs on eight hits.
Texas State scored 2 runs on two sacrifice flies from Matt Sanchez, freshman outfielder, and Cody Perkins, senior infielder, in a 9-7 comeback victory over Wagner.
Hunter Lemke, senior pitcher, made an appearance in all three games, pitching 2.2 innings, allowing one run and earning a save in each game. Lemke now has four saves on the season.
The Bobcat offense had a six-run bottom of the second inning in the first game of Saturday’s double header. Austin O’Neal, senior first baseman, hit a double to centerfield to bring in 3 runs, giving Texas State a 6-0 lead.
Tyler Pearson, senior catcher, added a home run in the eighth to extend the Bobcats’ lead to 7-3. Pearson’s home run was his third of the season. This exceeds his total of one in the previous season.
Junior Taylor Black pitched into the fifth inning for the first game Saturday, allowing 1 earned run on five hits. Black struck out seven, earning his first win of the season.
Freshman Tyler Davenport replaced Black to pitch three innings heading into the ninth. Davenport allowed a two-RBI single by Shaun Flynn, Seahawks outfielder. Lemke pitched the final two outs, giving the team a victory.
Lucas Humpal, sophomore pitcher, was looking to duplicate his earlier shutout against California-Riverside in Friday’s opening game against Wagner.
“I didn’t want to extend him too much this game,” said Coach Ty Harrington. “His pitch count was so high last time out, but the good news is these guys get six days’ rest.”
Humpal pitched six innings while allowing an earned run and striking out seven in a 3-1 win.
The game saw both starters pitch six innings. Friday’s game did not see its first run scored until the top of the sixth. Tommy Mazurkiewicz, Wagner infielder, singled to right to score the runner from third.
The Seahawks had runners on second and third in the sixth when Ross Goebel, senior pitcher, entered the game, holding Wagner to a 1-run lead.
Goebel forced a fly out and an attempted sacrifice bunt to earn the last outs in the sixth.
The Bobcats scored in the next inning to tie the game when David Paiz, junior infielder, hit a double to right field, driving in Colby Targun, junior outfielder, from second.
Goebel pitched a perfect eighth to keep the score tied 1-1.
“I was fortunate enough to hit my spots,” Goebel said. “Coach (Jeremy) Fikac always talks about executing pitches and good things are going to happen to you. That was a good team we played, and I had good defense out there to back me up.”
Mike Adams, Wagner pitcher, walked three batters in the bottom of the eighth. Adams gave up a bases-loaded walk to give the Bobcats a 2-1 lead. Texas State won the game 3-1.
“If you go back and look at his (Adams’) stats from a year ago, he had a high walk ratio,” Harrington said. “That was going to be our best offense against him, and thank goodness he did that against us.”