In the top of the first, the Bobcats quickly got two runners on base, on a Kyle Jones walk and a Cassidy Dresch single to right-center, but Dresch was picked off at second base by Texas catcher Brett Lewis. But then, Texas State 1B Cody Merrell hit an RBI double that splashed through a center field puddle to give the Bobcats a 1-0 lead.
After a pair of three-up, three-down inning halves and a four batter bottom 2nd for the Horns, Texas State threatened again with runners on the corners with two outs before Texas' starting pitcher, Kenn Kasparek, struck out Merrell, the Bobcats' first baseman who did the damage in the first inning.
In the bottom of the third, Texas managed to get two runners on base as well when Lewis and Chance Wheeless both drew walks from Texas State pitcher Ryan Bennett, but after three fly outs, the score remained 1-0.
The top of the 4th was another three-batter inning for Kasparek. In the bottom of the 4th, Steven Siers took over at pitcher for the Bobcats and promptly gave up a single to Carson Kainer. Hunter Harris then advanced Kainer with a SAC bunt, bringing Bradley Suttle to the plate with a runner in scoring position and one out. Kainer moved up to third on a Siers wild pitch and then Suttle brought him home on a single to right field.
"We're growing and gaining experience everytime in these close games," said Suttle. "They're paying dividends to everybody."
Kasparek started off the top of the 5th by walking Pat Crumpton. Kasparek then got two outs on a fly out and a strike out before giving up a single to Jones, prompting Garrido to pull his pitcher. Freshman Joey Parigi replaced Kasparek, who gave up four hits and one earned run on 4.2 innings pitched. Parigi got the last out of the inning, striking out LF Luke Cannon on three pitches.
Texas State brought in a new pitcher for the bottom of the 5th, replacing Siers with Jason Baca. Baca retired three straight Texas batters. The Longhorns responded in kind, knocking down all three Bobcat batters in the top of the 6th.
In the bottom half, the parade of Texas State pitchers continued. B.J. Boening took over for Baca and was then hastily pulled in favor of Jarod Garza after two walks and a wild pitch…advancing Kainer again. Garza retired the final two batters in the inning on a foul out and fly out.
The pitchers duel continued through the 7th inning with Texas replacing Parigi with another (surprise, surprise) freshman pitcher, left-hander Keith Shinaberry. Texas State continued their parade of pitchers with Chris Hill coming in for Garza and holding the game until giving up the mound to Justin Fiske in the 8th. That's when Suttle came through again with a double to left field and was then brought home by DH Preston Clark. Coach Garrido was impressed with the clutch hitting of his young squad.
You have to find a way to get the job done," said Garrido, "and in this case we got two big hits."
In the top of the 9th, the Longhorns brought in Joseph Krebs to close out the game and he did not disappoint. Krebs struck out all three batters to get the save.
Shinaberry, who pitched one inning and gave up no earned runs on two hits, got his one inning at the right time, picking up the win. For Texas State, Fiske picked up the loss.
Freshman Kyle Russell, who was in a boot yesterday after his ankle injury, is recovering quicker than expected.
"He feels better than we thought," said Garrido. "The swelling is at a minimum and we're in the optimistic side after today. Typically, the greater the swelling, the greater the ligament damage. But he was in the dugout and feeling good."
It is still yet to be determined when Russell will return, but it seems likely that he will be back on the field for the Horns this year.