Texas State avoids sweep with a wild walk-off victory

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Texas State avoids sweep with a wild walk-off victory

 Junior Jaxon Williams swings and hits a Troy pitch in at April 5 game. 


Photo by Kate Connors

Junior Jaxon Williams swings and hits a Troy pitch in at April 5 game.
Photo by Kate Connors

Kate Connors

Junior Jaxon Williams swings and hits a Troy pitch in at April 5 game.
Photo by Kate Connors

Kate Connors

Kate Connors

Junior Jaxon Williams swings and hits a Troy pitch in at April 5 game.
Photo by Kate Connors

Colton McWilliams

When it was all said and done, Texas State had completed the wildest game of the entire season.

The game started on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. and finished on Sunday around 3:00 p.m.; the Bobcats were able to overcome the Troy University Trojans with a walk-off base hit in extra innings to secure the 8-7 victory.

The Texas State victory was a huge win for the team as they avoid being swept by Troy after losing both games in a doubleheader Friday evening and improve their record to 20-12.

Troy started off hot in the first scoring three runs to take the early advantage. However, Texas State began to chop into the Trojan lead by scoring one run in both the first and second innings and left the deficit at 3-2.

A Will Hollis double scored two runs in the third to retake a 4-3 lead before lightning delayed the game. The game was then suspended after heavy rains and hail came down on the Bobcat ballpark. The game was rescheduled to resume play on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. head coach of the Bobcats Ty Harrington said.

“I was concerned because I knew one of our best pitchers (Reich) wasn’t going to be able to pitch the next day,” Harrington said. “But I felt like we had enough (pitchers) in the bullpen of quality that could hold….it’s hard to win in the league.”

On Sunday, the Bobcats resumed playing with runners on the corner with 2 outs still leading 4-3. With two balls and two strikes, redshirt senior outfielder Trevon Benton hammered a two-run home run to take a 7-3 lead.

Senior right-handed-pitcher Brayden Theriot took over for Connor Reich in the top fourth. Despite having runners in scoring position with two outs, Theriot forced the hitter fly out to sustain the Bobcat lead.

In the top of the fifth inning, the Trojans responded with a 3-run home run of their own to cut the lead 7-6. Texas State stopped the bleeding with a double play to end the top of the fifth.

In the top of the sixth inning after a no out walk, Theriot was taken out of the game and was replaced by lefty Anthony Pagano.

With the game tied and bases loaded with zero outs, Pagano was taken out and replaced by Brent Hebert. Facing a tough situation, Hebert was able to escape the inning with zero earns allowed to keep the game tied.

Despite two outs, the Bobcats were able to load the bases after two walks and a single. The situation led Troy to change out pitchers in order to keep the game tied. The change was successful was the Texas State was unable to score.

Texas State again threatened to score to the bottom of the seventh with runners on the corners but was able to hit any of the runners leaving the game tied.

Zachary Leigh replaced Hebert in the top of the eighth inning and was able to 1-2-3 in the inning to stay tied 7-7.

Leigh again held the Trojans hitless with a stellar inning despite walking one batter. In the bottom of the ninth, the Bobcats weren’t able to score any runs as the game headed into extra innings.

After a controversial foul ball call, Troy had runners in the corners with 1 out. However, Leigh again was able to get the Bobcats out of the jam as he forced the batter to hit into a double play to keep the game tied.

After a first at-bat walk by Travon Benton, Felipe Rodriguez was able to hit a sacrifice bunt to move the runner into scoring position with one out. Benton then moved to third after pass ball to put pressure on Troy. John Withrich was able to hit in Benton on a left-field single to score the winning run and avoid the sweep Withrich said.

“It was about staying locked in and staying mentally tough,” Withrich said. “You can’t get swept at home…it gets a little momentum going when we play Tuesday against (Texas) A&M and for the rest of the conference (play).”

The pitching staff was able to come through during the final innings during the game. Zachary Leigh secured the victory with three innings pitched, one hit, and zero runs. Brent Hebert also contributed allowing zero hits and zero runs to keep Troy off the board. Despite the rough first inning, Connor Reich was able to come through allowing two hits, three runs, and five strikeouts during Saturday’s game.

Texas State resumes play against nationally ranked Texas A&M University on the SEC Network before a weekend conference road series date with Georgia Southern.

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