Texas State baseball was able to overcome a 23-7 defeat in Friday’s series opening game against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi by taking the final two games and the series against the Islanders.
The Bobcats (7-13) played five away games in six days, facing ranked Oregon State University and the University of Oregon over spring break. Against A&M-Corpus Christi, the Bobcats gave up 18 hits on their 23 runs while surrendering four errors, all issues that Coachsaid probably stemmed from the long trip.
“To get beat like that (on Friday) and to come back and win the series was good,” Harrington said. “(On Friday) there were a lot of mistakes and a lot emotionally happening.”
Of the 23 runs, 17 of them were earned. The Islanders scored nine runs in the first two innings, putting the Bobcats in a hole. The closest differential the Bobcats were able to muster was 9-1 heading into the top of the fourth, only to have the Islanders score four more runs.
A bright spot for Texas State was sophomore second baseman Colby Targun who was 3-3 on the night and scored one run while knocking in two more. Sophomore right fielder Brooks Orton had one hit on two at-bats while collecting two RBI.
Sophomore starter Taylor Black had his least impressive outing of the season thus far, losing his third game of the year. Black gave up 10 hits and seven earned runs with four walks. Freshman reliever Trevor Renfro was not able to force an out before giving up three runs on one hit and a walk.
On Saturday, the Bobcats bounced back with a 5-3 victory over the Islanders. Junior Scott Grist got the start and gave up eight hits and two earned runs. Junior reliever Hunter Lemke was able to close out the game pitching 1 2/3 innings without giving up a run, hit or walk.
Although the Bobcats won the game, they had six hits compared to the Islanders’ 10. Junior first baseman Austin O’Neal was 2-2 with two RBI and a run scored in the win. Sophomore shortstop Garrett Mattlage reached base twice on a walk and a hit. He also knocked in a runner and scored one.
“I’m proud of the fact they came back on Saturday and got the win,” Harrington said. “It was willful. Most teams would have went down again. I was proud Sunday. Our competitive nature was really good. The detail and fundamental part, especially defensively, is still needing work.”
Texas State secured the series win on Sunday by beating the Islanders 7-1 behind the arm of junior Kyle Finnegan. Finnegan (2-1) pitched six innings and gave up one run on three hits while striking out two and walking three. Lemke got another save, pitching the entire ninth inning without giving up a walk or a hit.
The Bobcats’ offense was more explosive in the series finale, collecting 10 hits. Sophomore designated hitter Cody Lovejoy went 3-5 with two runs scored. Junior catcher Tyler Pearson contributed three RBI while getting two hits on three at-bats.
Targun again was a key asset in Harrington ‘s lineup, batting 2-3 on Sunday with three runs scored and an RBI. He was 5-9 on the weekend with four runs scored and three RBI total.
The Bobcats played a three-game series against Oregon State two weekend’s ago, dropping all three contests. The first game was reminiscent of the Corpus-Christi opener as they lost 16-4, giving up 16 hits and forcing three errors. Oregon State swept the defending champ, the University of Arizona, in Arizona last weekend.
“The Oregon trip was incredibly tough,” Harrington said. “The competition was what we thought it would be, and possibly more. We tried to grow from it but it was a long trip. We tried to continue to progress and get better. That’s what the trip was about.”
Finnegan recorded his first loss of the season, surrendering 10 hits and nine earned runs on his outing. Mattlage and Pearson led the way for the Bobcats in game one, batting 4-7 total with two runs scored combined. The next two games were much closer, losing 3-6 and 4-6 respectively. The Beavers’ pitching made it difficult for the Bobcats to get on base, letting up 13 hits in those two games.
Against the University of Oregon, the Bobcats’ losing streak continued. They fell 3-4 and 4-10 in a two-game series starting on the following Tuesday. Texas State recorded nine hits in each contest. Freshman Jeremy Hallonquist got his first start on the season. He pitched three innings while giving up three runs on four hits.
“(Starting conference play) will renew some spirit,” Harrington said. “Anytime you start something new, it’s going to be exciting.”