Louisiana Tech left 11 runners on base as the Texas State Bobcats scored just one run to defeat the Bulldogs, 1-0, in the first of a three-game conference set Friday night at Bobcat Ballpark in San Marcos.
Tech (12-22, 2-8 WAC) had the chance to tie the game at one in the top half of the ninth when center fielder Taylor Burch led off the inning with a single to right center field, followed by a sacrifice bunt by Thomas Simoneaux to give Tech a runner in scoring position. Texas State (13-20, 6-4 WAC) went on to retire the next two batters to clinch the opening night victory over Tech.
"We have to figure it out and it is frustrating," head coach Wade Simoneaux said. "We had many opportunities to score and they made some nice, defensive plays when they had to. We can't pitch and play defense and win a game if we cannot score. It is frustrating because I know our guys are trying and I know they want it bad."
Starter Phil Maton (5-3) was charged with the loss after allowing one run – an earned run – off six hits, while striking out four in 6.2 innings of work. Maton was relieved in the seventh by Jamie Gilley, who came on to pitch the final 1.1 innings of the game.
Right hander Taylor Black (3-4) started for Texas State and pitched 7.2 innings of four-hit baseball to earn the victory. Black struck out six Bulldog hitters on the night and walked five in the win. Hunter Lemke (5) relieved Black with two outs in the eighth and pitched the final 1.1 innings to pick up his fifth save of the season. Black and Lemke held the Bulldogs to just five hits on the night
With a scoreless ballgame heading into the sixth inning, Texas State center fielder Morgan Mickan led off the bottom half of the inning with a single and eventually scored off an RBI single to left field by designated hitter Andrew Stumph. That lone run proved to be enough for the Bobcats as Tech threatened in later innings, but failed to plate a run in the loss.
Stumph led the Bobcats offensively with a 2-for-4 effort at the plate with a double and an RBI. Kevin Sah, Garrett Mattlage, Colby Targun and Mickan each had one hit on the night for a total of six hits by Texas State.
Tyler Qualls, Tyler Ervine, Kody Neel and Hedges each had one hit apiece in addition to Burch's ninth inning single to give the Bulldogs five hits in the conference loss.
The series between Texas State and the Bulldogs resumes at 2 p.m. Saturday at Bobcat Ballpark in San Marcos, Texas with the Bobcats leading the series 1-0.