Texas State Baseball eliminated from Southland Tournament by SFA, 9-7
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San Marcos, Texas – An eighth-inning home run from Stephen F. Austin's Bobby Loveless proved to be the game winner as Texas State fell, 9-7, at Bobcat Ballpark to eliminate the Bobcats from the 2012 Southland Conference Tournament.
SFA's game-winning homer came half an inning after senior Jeff McVaney put the Bobcats in front with a grand slam that gave Texas State a 7-6 lead. Trailing 6-3 heading to the eighth inning, Garret Mattlage led off the frame with a single before Sibley singled to put runners on first and second. Following a Morgan Mickan walk, McVaney came up and delivered the first grand slam of his career to put the Bobcats ahead by one.
However, Texas State's lead would be short-lived as Stephen F. Austin's Zach Benson hit the first pitch in the bottom of the eighth over the fence in left field for his first career homer to tie the game at 7-7 and set up Loveless for the game winner.
McVaney capped off his standout four-year career with the Bobcats with a monster day at the plate. He finished 3 for 4 with two home runs, five RBIs and three runs scored. The two home runs brought his season total to 10 and career total to 30, tied for second most in Texas State history.
McVaney's success against Stephen F. Austin on Friday was no surprise as the senior finished his career 24 for 57 (.511) with seven home runs and 20 RBIs against Lumberjack pitching.
Texas State held the lead early as the team put a pair of runs on the scoreboard in the first inning. The Bobcats took a two walks and used a couple hits to stake itself to a 2-0 advantage. Casey Kalenkosky hit a sacrifice fly to center field that brought home Mickan before Cody Gambill, making his first start since April 10, roped a single to right field that plated McVaney for the second run of the inning.
McVaney then gave the Bobcats a three-run cushion in the third inning when he blasted his ninth home run of the season over the wall in left field for a 3-0 Texas State advantage.
Stephen F. Austen came back in the fifth inning with a pair of runs on a two-out rally that cut the lead to one before another two-run inning in the sixth put the Lumberjacks in front, 4-3. Stephen F. Austin had the bases loaded with one out before Louis Head came in out of the Texas State bullpen to strikeout a pair and keep the Bobcat deficit at one.
The Lumberjacks scored two more runs in the seventh inning to move in front 6-3 before the teams traded leads down the stretch.
Taylor Black started the game for Texas State and picked up the no-decision after limiting SFA to four runs (three earned) over five innings. He struck out three in his sixth start of the season.
Despite allowing four runs over three innings, SFA's Alex Moshier kept his record perfect on the season as he was credited with the win to move to 6-0 on the season.
Friday's game marked the first time that Stephen F. Austin has defeated Texas State in Southland Conference Tournament play. The Bobcats entered the game with a perfect 5-0 record against SFA during postseason action.
Sibley finished Friday's game 1 for 4 with a run scored, while Gambill and Mattlage also recorded hits for Texas State.
Texas State's record moved to 32-24 overall and will be the team's final mark for 2012 barring an at-large selection in next week's NCAA Regionals. The NCAA selection show will take place at 11 a.m. on Monday, May 28 on ESPNU.