The Texas State baseball team struck out 16 times in a 14-1 loss Tuesday night at Bobcat Ballpark against Rice in its second appearance this season against the Owls.
Rice scored in three-straight innings after jumping out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the second on a one-out double by Kirby Taylor, Owls infielder.
Tanner Hill, sophomore first baseman, hit a home run to left field in the bottom of the second to tie the game 1-1.
“The ball felt good off the bat,” Hill said. “I’ve been struggling the past two weeks. Sunday, I turned on a couple balls and hit them right at people. It is part of the game but today felt pretty good.”
Hill’s homer was his second this season and his 12th RBI. He drove in the only run of the night for the Bobcats.
The Owls extended their lead heading into the bottom of third, scoring 4 runs off a hit batter, a walk and two singles off Chris Young, junior pitcher.
“That’s the inning where it all started,” said Coach Ty Harrington. “It didn’t help that we struck out 16 times, and it’s frustrating after coming in off a three-game sweep.”
Rice scored on a wild pitch from Dylan Bein, freshman pitcher, to increase the team’s lead 6-1 in the top of the fourth. Michael Aquino, Rice outfielder, hit a sacrifice fly to score the runner from third and extend the lead 7-1.
Caleb Smith, Rice pitcher, threw 6 innings, allowed 1 earned run and struck out 12 batters.
Seven pitchers threw for the Bobcats Tuesday night. Chad Young, junior pitcher, started for the Bobcats and threw 2.1 innings, allowing 4 earned runs.
Tyler Pearson, senior catcher, went 0-4 on the night, striking out three times. Pearson’s batting average is under .300 for the first time this season.
“All around, defensively and offensively, we didn’t play well,” Pearson said. “That’s the good thing about baseball, we can come out here tomorrow and come out for a new day.”
The team collected four hits in the game compared to Rice’s 12, leading to a season-high 14 runs for the Owls.
Rice earned 5 runs in the ninth inning on three hits while the Bobcats committed two errors.
Pearson allowed three pass balls behind the plate. Bobcat pitchers hit five Rice batters and walked 10.
“We just got to look forward,” Pearson said. “You can’t dwell on the past. This game is over. There is nothing we can do about it.”
Texas State allowed a season-high 14 runs and 12 hits in the defeat.
“We felt like we had some momentum after the weekend sweep,” Pearson said. “This one would have been a good one to win, but it doesn’t always happen in you favor. We start a new day tomorrow.”
Colby Targun, junior outfielder, has now reached base safely in 16-straight games and is currently on a four-game hit streak.
The Bobcats head to Bowling Green, Ky this weekend to take on the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers in a three game series.
“We have to do better than what we did tonight,” Harrington said. “We cannot strikeout that many times going into this weekend. We have to work harder on two-strike approaches as we head into the weekend.”