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Pena’s walk-off homer advances Texas State to quarterfinals

Texas+State+freshman+infielder+Daylan+Pe%26%23241%3Ba+%2816%29+celebrates+after+defeating+Stanford+in+game+four+of+the+NCAA+Stanford+Regional%2C+Saturday%2C+June+5%2C+2022%2C+at+Klein+Field+at+Sunken+Diamond+in+Palo+Alto%2C+CA.+The+Bobcats+won+5-2%2C+sending+Texas+State+Baseball+to+an+NCAA+Regional+final+for+the+first+time+in+its+program+history.

Texas State freshman infielder Daylan Peña (16) celebrates after defeating Stanford in game four of the NCAA Stanford Regional, Saturday, June 5, 2022, at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond in Palo Alto, CA. The Bobcats won 5-2, sending Texas State Baseball to an NCAA Regional final for the first time in its program history.

Texas State (36-22, 17-13 Sun Belt Conference) defeated No. 8 Georgia State (30-29, 16-14 Sun Belt Conference) in dramatic fashion in the third round of the Guardian Credit Union Sun Belt Conference Baseball Championship Thursday afternoon at Riverwalk Stadium.  
With the score knotted at 5-5 in the 12th inning, sophomore infielder Daylan Pena slammed a walk-off homerun over the left field wall sealing the 6-5 victory and sending Texas State into the quarterfinals. 
Pena’s home run was his only RBI of the contest, as he finishes with two runs and three hits on the day in six at-bats.
Senior right-handed pitcher Triston Dixon earned the win for Texas State out of the bullpen. Dixon threw seven innings without allowing a single run. He also struck out six Georgia State batters and only gave up a pair of walks and one base knock. 
Texas State scored five of its six runs in the first two innings. The Georgia State defense tightened and didn’t allow a single Bobcat run for the next nine innings. 
Despite the lack of offense for such an extended period of time the Bobcats defense managed to hold off the Panthers. 
Georgia State scored the game’s first run after a homerun from senior outfielder Max Ryerson gave the Panthers an early 1-0 lead in the first inning. 
The Bobcats offered a quick response, tying the ballgame after freshman infielder Chase Mora singled down center field allowing junior outfielder Kameron Weil to score the tying run. 
Following Weil’s score Texas State proceeded to take control of the game. A Georgia State throwing error allowed led to three unearned Bobcat runs in the bottom of the first giving Texas State it’s first lead of the tournament at 4-1. 
The Panthers wouldn’t find a spark until the fifth inning. Trailing 5-1, a single up the middle allowed a GSU runner to score and cut the Texas State lead to three.
Georgia State would inch closer with two more runs coming in the seventh inning, none bigger than a two RBI from junior infielder Luke Boynton which tied the game at 5-5 headed into the eighth inning.
Following the tie, both teams combined for just four hits leading into the bottom of the 12th inning, where Pena would ultimately seal the game with his walk-off homer to finally put away the Panthers. 
The big win for the Bobcats is good to send the team past the second round for the first time since the 2018 season. At 12 innings this game was the longest postseason game in program history.
After the victory, Texas State now advances to the quarterfinal round for a rematch against Louisiana-Lafayette. The Ragin’ Cajuns advanced to the quarterfinals by knocking off top seed Coastal Carolina. 
Opening pitch between Texas State and Louisiana-Lafayette is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Friday, May. 26 at Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery, Alabama. The game will be available to stream on ESPN+. 

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