Offensive struggles have plagued the Texas State baseball team in recent losses, but it was defensive errors that caused the Bobcats to lose 7-3 Tuesday night against Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.
“We haven’t quite learned how to earn a win yet,” said Coach. “We gave up some runs early. We were playing catch-up all night. You got to earn wins at this level. We’ve had chances in every game this season to win.”
The Bobcats were able to get the bats going with nine hits, but the defense had three errors total, including two in the eighth inning resulting in two runs.
“It is frustrating. There are a couple of areas that you want to try to win a game in,” Harrington said. “We were not able to capitalize and play good defense tonight like we have been doing this season.”
Texas State was trailing 5-3 with two Islanders on base but had two outs in the bottom of the eighth. Junior pitcher Hunter Lemke had a fielding and throwing error, which gave two runs to the Islanders.
The Bobcats got into a hole early, 3-0 in the first inning. The Islanders started out the inning with their first three batters reaching base. Their leadoff man Jordan Lee walked, while Cody Stephens doubled and Jonathan Gonzales singled, knocking in Lee.
The inning ended after an RBI single by Kyle Danford, but he attempted to stretch the single to a double and was thrown out. The Bobcats did not get on the board until the third inning when junior catcher Tyler Pearson was singled in by sophomore outfielder Cody Lovejoy. Senior outfielder Morgan Mickan added the second run of the inning, making the score 3-2 Corpus Christi.
Lovejoy and sophomore shortstop Garrett Mattlage continue to carry the Bobcats’ offense. Lovejoy was 3-5 on the night with an RBI. Mattlage was 2-3 with two walks and added an RBI. Pearson added two hits in four at-bats, as well as his third inning run.
Corpus Christi answered in the next inning with another run, coming off a single down the line from Lee. The inning started with a walk and a single in the first two Corpus Christi at-bats. The runners advanced from a balk. Then, after a pitching change, the Islanders made the score 5-2 off another RBI single, this time by Stephens.
Stephens led the Islanders in hitting Tuesday, batting 3-4 with an RBI and a run. Danford was 2-3 with two runs and an RBI. Gonzales added two runs batted in. The Bobcats were aided by Matt Smith, a new freshman starter at third base.
Harrington changed up the lineup several times in the contest, even further than the pre-game shake-ups. Senior Andrew Stumph made his return to the lineup after batting only once in three games against the University of Houston. He was 0-4 on the night.
“We are trying to search for a lineup,” Harrington said. “We have guys who are trying to get themselves a chance. We are giving some guys opportunities to help our team.”
Sophomore first baseman Ben McElroy made his return to the lineup after “battling with injuries” in the early part of the season, according to Harrington. McElroy batted once and was pulled after some pain at his first at bat. A total of six players were substituted in as pinch hitters in the duration of the game. They went 0-5 total.
Senior pitcher Mitchell Pitts got the start and received the loss. He went for two and one third innings, giving up five hits and three runs. He had one strikeout and one walk. Freshman reliever Lucas Humpal pitched the most innings after Pitts was relieved. Humpal gave up two hits and struck out four in three and one third innings.
The Bobcats have now lost three straight games. Texas State will try to rebound against the Northern Kentucky University in a three game series this weekend at Bobcat Ballpark.