Louisiana Tech fell to the Texas State Bobcats, 9-5, in a back-and-forth offensive contest to give the Bobcats the conference series victory Saturday afternoon at Bobcat Ballpark in San Marcos.
Tech (12-23, 2-9 WAC) led 1-0 off a solo home run to left field by Bre'shon Kimbell in the second inning and had a 4-2 lead going into the bottom of the sixth before a five-run inning gave Texas State (14-20, 7-4 WAC) life and propelled the Bobcats to a victory.
"Ferguson did a good job until the fifth and it went downhill and we let it get away from us," head coach Wade Simoneaux said. "When you give up a five-run inning, it is hard to recover. We have to continue to score. The guys are fighting, but they are getting a little disgruntled. It is not a happy dugout right now. We have to find a way to get over the hump."
Austen Williams (1-3) pitched two innings of relief work to earn the victory for the Bobcats. Williams gave up two runs – both earned – off four hits and was relieved by Donnie Hart, who pitched the final two innings to close out the victory. Scott Grist started for Texas State and allowed three runs – one earned – off six hits in 4.2 innings, while striking out four.
Richie Navari (1-6) came on in relief in the sixth and was charged with the loss after allowing two runs – both earned – off one hit in 0.1 inning of work. James Ferguson started for the Bulldogs and pitched five innings, while giving up three runs – all earned – off six hits and striking out three in five innings of work. Jamie Gilley followed up and gave up four runs – all earned – off four hits in an inning of work, while Luke Giddens and Dakota Doss closed out the game for the Bulldogs.
After leading 4-2 after five and a half innings of play, Texas State rallied offensively to plate five runs in the bottom of the sixth to lead 7-4. The Bulldogs added a run in the seventh to cut the Bobcats lead to two runs, but a two-run home run by first baseman Austin O'Neal in the bottom of the inning stretched Texas State's lead to four, which proved to be enough on the day.
The Bobcats were led offensively by O'Neal, who was 3-for-4 with a home run, 3 runs batted in and two runs scored. Catcher Tyler Pearson and right fielder Cody Lovejoy each recorded two hits on the day, as Texas State totaled 12 base hits in the victory.
Right fielder Kimbell led Tech at the plate with a 2-for-4 day with a double, a home run, two RBI and a run scored. The home run was Kimbell's third of the season. Taylor Burch, Ryan Gebhardt and Taylor Terrasas had two hits apiece, while the Bulldogs totaled 10 hits on the afternoon.
The third and final game of the series between Tech and Texas State is scheduled for a 12 p.m. start Sunday at Bobcat Ballpark in San Marcos.