Baseball defeats Hilltoppers, improves in Sun Belt Conference

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Sports Reporter

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Texas State baseball went 2-1 in a series March 21-23 against Western Kentucky at Bowling Green.

The Texas State baseball team won two out of three games at Western Kentucky over the weekend, improving to 5-1 in the Sun Belt Conference.  

The Bobcats scored a season-high 13 runs in the second game of the series, forcing the second loss at home for the Hilltoppers.

“We played better,” said Coach Ty Harrington. “The team played with more emotion. We didn’t play very good on Tuesday and even though we lost, we played good on Friday as well.”  

Garrett Mattlage, junior shortstop, recorded a career-high seven RBI on the afternoon as well as going three for five with a run scored.

The team struck first when Tyler Pearson, senior catcher, connected with a triple over the center fielder’s head.

Mattlage knocked Pearson home for the first run of the game with a sacrifice hit to the pitcher.

Texas State forced 12 walks on the game. Matt Smith, sophomore second baseman, had three walks on the game while Pearson forced two.

Austen Williams, junior pitcher, threw six innings striking out five, while giving up 2 earned runs improving to 3-0 on the season.

Justin Dellinger, sophomore pitcher, relieved Williams throwing three innings of no hit baseball earning his first save of the season.

The Bobcats defeated the Hilltoppers in the series finale 7-5 with momentum from Saturday’s 13-4 victory.

The offense provided the win as the team hit back-to-back home runs in the eighth. Tanner Hill, sophomore first baseman, led the inning with his third home run of the season followed by Ben McElroy’s, junior outfielder, first homer of the year. This was the team’s first multi-home run game of the season.

“This was a good one to win,” Pearson said. “We had some momentum coming in as an offense and it was an important conference game to win.”

Granger Studdard, freshman outfielder, hit a 2-run homer, giving the Bobcats a 5-3 lead and breaking his 0-6 hitless streak in the series.

Lucas Humpal, sophomore pitcher, went 6.1 innings, giving up 3 runs on eight hits and striking out three. Humpal improved his record in Sunday’s victory to 2-0.

Cory Geisler, sophomore pitcher, finished the seventh, walking two and not allowing a hit to keep the score 5-3.

Hunter Lemke, senior pitcher, entered in the eighth allowing 2 runs after a walk and double to shrinking the lead 7-5.

Lemke came out in the ninth and hit a batter, and with one out in the inning the Hilltoppers hit a game-ending double play earning the 7-5 victory.

The Bobcats went back and forth Friday in the series opener against the Hilltoppers until the bottom of the fifth when Western Kentucky struck first with a 2-run single.

Taylor Black, junior pitcher, threw eight innings for the complete game despite the loss.

Black allowed 4 earned runs on eight hits while striking out five for his first complete game of the season.

Justin Hageman, Western Kentucky pitcher, countered Black’s performance with a complete game of his own.

Hageman struck out nine and did not give up an earned run after the error scored Smith in the ninth.

“It’s baseball and you are going to play the teams in your conference,” Harrington said. “They aren’t going to be easy. We played a good team in our second Sun Belt series and we played well.”

The Hilltoppers dropped two of three after starting the season at home 8-1.