Texas State baseball drops season opener
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SAN MARCOS, Texas – Kyle Finnegan struck out 11 batters to give Texas State a chance to knock off No. 31 Missouri State Friday, but an 11th inning single up the middle scored the winning run for the Bears. Andrew Stumph tied the game with a double in the seventh inning, but it would not be enough as Missouri State won, 3-2.
Texas State left 12 runners stranded in the game, but also forced Missouri State to leave 11 on base. The Bobcats put together strong defense throughout the game, only notching one error.
The only headway Missouri State could make came in the third inning. Finnegan dealt six strikeouts in the first three innings, but despite the great pitching, Missouri State was able to put up two runs in the third.
Lead off hitter Dylan Becker went to first after being hit, then stole second with two outs. Next, Keenen Maddox singled through the right side to score Becker then came home on a Conor Smith single.
The next three innings both teams put runners on, but it was the Bobcats who threatened the most in the sixth inning. Stumph reached on an error by the third baseman followed by a Colby Targun walk. After a fielder’s choice, Targun moved to third on a groundout. But, unfortunately for Texas State, the Bobcats couldn’t get him home.
Targun put together an impressive day, going one for two with three walks. Kevin Sah notched a hit in his only at bat while Stumph and Garrett Mattlage made the other Texas State hits on the day.
However, Texas State made its move in the bottom of the seventh. First, designated hitter Cody Lovejoy reached on an error by the MSU first baseman, and then he stole second. After a fly out, Lovejoy took third on a Mattlage fielder’s choice. Lovejoy was able to score on the play while Mattlage took second on an error.
Texas State wasn’t done there. The Bobcats added one more when Stumph doubled to right field to score Mattlage.
After that, the defense ratcheted up a notch the rest of the way through until Missouri State scored the winning run in the 11th. The Bears’ Eric Cheray started the inning with a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. When Becker singled up the middle, Cheray scored to put the pressure on Texas State.
The Bobcats couldn’t make a move in the bottom of the inning and will start the season 0-1 despite a strong showing.
Head Coach Ty Harrington received great pitching from his squad. In addition to Finnegan’s 11 strikeouts, Andrew Boes and Hunter Lemke put in good work over four innings, only allowing three hits and striking out three.