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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

Cardiac ‘Cats: Texas State wins back-to-back thrillers to open College Classic

Texas+State+sophomore+infielder+Chase+Mora+%282%29+celebrates+his+grand+slam%2C+Saturday%2C++March.+2%2C+2024%2C+Minute+Maid+Park+in+Houston.
Carly Earnest
Texas State sophomore infielder Chase Mora (2) celebrates his grand slam, Saturday, March. 2, 2024, Minute Maid Park in Houston.

Two words can describe the Texas State baseball team’s first two days playing in the Astros Foundation College Classic: heart-stopping. 

Texas State baseball’s (7-3) first two days in Houston resulted in wins over the University of Houston (6-4) and the University of Texas (7-3) in two instant classic games. Texas State defeated the Cougars 8-7 in extra innings and toppled the Longhorns 11-10 in one of the wildest back–and–forth games in the series’ history.

 

Game One: Texas State vs the University of Houston

Texas State kicked off the weekend Friday morning, March 1, in a battle with the Cougars at Minute Maid Park in Houston. The Bobcats fell behind two runs early on, which has been a common theme early this season.

Texas State broke through and pushed a run across in the bottom of the fourth when sophomore infielder Chase Mora doubled down the third base line.

Mora came through again in the sixth with an RBI single that brought sophomore catcher Rashawn Galloway across the plate to tie the game. Junior infielder Aaron Lugo then singled through the six-hole to give the Bobcats the 3-2 advantage.

The Bobcats added two more runs in the seventh inning when freshman Ryne Farber scored on a wild pitch, followed by a sacrifice fly from senior catcher August Ramirez that gave Texas State the 5-2 lead. The Cougars, however, answered back in the eighth. 

Houston senior outfielder Tre Jones cut into Texas State’s lead with a solo homer making the score 5-3. After a sacrifice pop fly cut the Bobcats’ lead to one, a two-RBI single from junior outfielder Cameron Nickens gave Houston the 6-5 lead.

Senior outfielder Daylan Pena entered the game as a pinch hitter to lead off the ninth inning for Texas State and turned the game on its head, sending a ball off the facade in left-center field to knot the game at six-all. Houston limited the Bobcats’ scoring to only the solo homer, sending the game to extras.

Houston scored in the top of the 10th, setting the stage for the Bobcats. Mora led off the inning and, after seeing one pitch, deposited it into the Crawford Boxes and walked it off, giving the Bobcats the 8-7 victory.

 

Game Two: Texas State vs the University of Texas

Day two of the tournament was just as exhilarating as day one as the Bobcats took on the Longhorns on Texas Independence Day.

Farber opened the game with a bang launching a lead-off homer to give the Bobcats the early 1-0 advantage. An inning later, Pena scored on a wild pitch increasing Texas State’s advantage to two runs. Mora then stepped up to bat with bases loaded and stayed hot with a grand slam to give the Bobcats a 6-0 lead.

Sacrifice flies from sophomore infielder Jalin Flores, junior catcher Kimble Schuessler and a run on a Texas State error gave the Longhorns three runs in the third, cutting the Bobcats’ lead to 6-3.

Texas State got one run back in the fourth courtesy of an RBI single from Farber, but the Longhorns responded again with two solo shots to reduce the Bobcats’ lead to 7-5.

After Mora’s RBI in the sixth that gave the Bobcats an 8-5 lead, Texas brought four runs in with an RBI triple and a three-run homerun.

The Bobcats tied it in the eighth again though, as Farber hit an RBI single. Texas then re-took the lead right back in the bottom half on a mammoth solo shot from senior outfielder Porter Brown.

Down to their last out, the Bobcats refused to go quietly. Pena kept the inning alive with a two-out single bringing Lugo to the plate. Just as Mora did in game one, Lugo took the first pitch he saw and hit a frozen rope into the Crawford Boxes.

Lugo’s home run was all she wrote as junior pitcher Matthew Tippie held the Longhorns scoreless in the bottom of the ninth, securing Texas State’s 11-10 victory over Texas.

“If we got one strike left, we got a chance,” Texas State Head Coach Steven Trout said. “A lot of guys deserve a lot of praise tonight.”

Trout’s squad returns to action on Sunday to close out the tournament with a matchup against defending national champions LSU. 

The first pitch between Texas State and LSU is scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday, March. 3, at Minute Maid Park in Houston. The game will be available to stream on the Houston Astros’ YouTube channel.

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