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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Bobcats begin Sun Belt play with a sweep over A-State

Texas+State+baseball+head+coach+Steven+Trout+coaches+freshman+infielder+Daylan+Pena+%2816%29+before+Pena+goes+up+to+bat+during+a+game+against+Wichita+State%2C+Thursday%2C+Feb.+24%2C+2022%2C+at+Bobcat+Ballpark.+The+Bobcats+won+9-2.

Texas State baseball head coach Steven Trout coaches freshman infielder Daylan Pena (16) before Pena goes up to bat during a game against Wichita State, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022, at Bobcat Ballpark. The Bobcats won 9-2.

Texas State baseball (18-3, 3-0) swept the Arkansas State Red Wolves (4-13, 0-3) this weekend in Jonesboro, Arkansas. The Bobcats completed the three-game sweep to win its Sun Belt Conference opener and their fifth series win this season. 
The Bobcats, prior to facing the Red Wolves, won a mid-week contest against the Prairie View A&M Panthers, 8-2, at home – moving to 4-1 in midweek contests. In the first weekend of Sun Belt Conference play, the Bobcats began 3-0 – all three games in nail-biter fashion.
The Bobcats came into the weekend ranked as high as No. 15 in the College Baseball Newspaper poll. While the ‘Cats are confident in the way they’ve played in the past month, the team knows they can’t stop playing their best game.
“In years past when we have started to get some outside recognition, that’s when things have taken a turn for us,” senior outfielder John Wuthrich said. “So, learning from that and realizing that it’s still about us; staying on each other, encouraging each other and playing for each other – we’ll be in a good place.”
In game one, it seemed the Bobcats had forgotten who they were, giving up six runs in the bottom of the first. The maroon and gold had a seemingly insurmountable trial ahead of them. The Bobcats trailed until the top of the seventh, putting up a six-spot, and would never look back.
After being down in the top of the seventh, 3-7, the Bobcats scored 10 unanswered runs – taking game one from A-State, 13-7, in both squads’ Sun Belt Conference opener. The Bobcats plated 13 runs on 12 hits while committing three errors. The Red Wolves are able to get seven runs on five hits, committing five errors.
Junior pitcher Triston Dixon threw five scoreless innings to pick up the win. Friday night starter, senior pitcher Zeke Wood, gave up four hits and seven runs – only one of them being earned.
Seven Bobcats plated runs in Friday’s contest, senior infielder Justin Thompson touched home four times in just five at-bats.
Saturday night would see 17 fewer runs than Friday’s contest as the Bobcats outlasted the pitching duel, 2-1, clinching the series win against A-State.
Saturday starter for the Bobcats, senior pitcher Levi Wells, snagged the win on 5.2 innings pitched, giving up one run and four hits, striking out six. Bobcat pitchers Matthew Nicholas, Carson Keithley and Tristan Stivors held the Red Wolves scoreless through the final 3.1 innings.
Taking the loss for A-State was senior pitcher Will Nash, who gave up the only two runs against his team in the top of the third inning.
Senior infielder Dalton Shuffield brought around senior outfielder Isaiah Ortega-Jones with a double. After Thompson was walked on the next at-bat, senior designated hitter Wesley Faison knocked a single up the middle to bring Shuffield home for the second and final run of the game for the Bobcats.
The third game of the series wouldn’t come easy for the Bobcats either as they trailed, 4-2, until the bottom of the eighth. The Bobcats would be able to grab the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth to sweep the Red Wolves, winning game three, 5-4.
In the first three innings, six runs were scored – A-State on top, 4-2. After the explosive start, in innings four through seven, both teams combined for three hits until the top of the eighth when the Bobcats rallied back.
The rally for the Bobcats began with a single from freshman infielder Daylan Pena who was brought around with a one-out home run to tie the game from Shuffield in the top of the eighth. It wouldn’t be until the next inning that the Bobcats took the lead when Ortega-Jones doubled down the left-field line to score senior infielder Cameron Gibbons and ultimately won the game. Batting in three runs for the Bobcats, Shuffield also grabbed a pair of hits, tying Pena and sophomore catcher August Ramirez for the team high.
Stivors grabbed his second win of the year, completing the game on two scoreless innings for the Bobcats as the hitters rallied back from their two-run deficit. The Bobcats saw sophomore pitcher Cameron Bush throw three scoreless innings after Sunday starter Tony Robie gave up four runs in the first three innings.
After completing their third series sweep on the season over the Arkansas State Red Wolves, the Bobcats will remain on the road for one more game. No. 9 Texas State faces the University of the Incarnate Word (9-8) at 6:30 p.m. on March 22 at Sullivan Field in San Antonio.

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