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Ryder Hernandez gets tagged out in a run-down during Texas State’s game against Sam Houston State. Hernandez finished the game, going 1-3 with one hit and a walk.
Daily Record photo by Gerald Castillo

Cats knock off rival Kats

Friday, March 3, 2023

For the second straight night, the Texas State (6-2) came out with a win, defeating longtime rival Sam Houston State, 6-2.

Coming off of a 12-8 triumph over University of the Incarnate Word on Tuesday, the Bobcats bested the Bearkats as they belted out 12-hits and the pitching staff combined for 12-strikeouts.

“It feels great in the clubhouse after back-to-back wins,” said junior outfielder Jose Gonzalez, who led the team at the plate with three hits.

“After some tough losses, you can get down on yourself, but now with back-to-back wins it really shows what this club can do this year,” he said.

Junior Peyton Zabel got the start on the bump for the Bobcats. He went two innings while striking out three, giving up two runs before giving way to the bullpen, as the rest of the Texas State staff did not give up a single hit for the remainder of the game.

“It has to be a huge confidence boost, Sam Houston can really swing it,” Gonzalez said. “We held them to only three hits, I think that is really impressive for all of our guys.”

The Bobcats were able to jump out to a quick 2-0 start in the bottom half of the first with three straight hits, as sophomore Daylan Pena drove home the first Texas State run as junior Cade Manning scored from third. Then, senior catcher Peyton Lewis hit a bloop single over the shortstop, scoring Gonzalez for the team’s second run.

In the second inning, manager Steven Trout put Zabel back out on the mound, trying to stretch him through two innings. He got into some twoout trouble as the Bearkats were able to even the score at two in the second.

“We were just trying to get one out of him tonight to be honest, and we put him out there in the second,” Trout said. “We had it mapped out to maybe go nine guys today, and if a guy could go one and have a really clean inning, then we would try to go for a second. Part of the issue was his first time starting out there in a long time, but otherwise I thought his stuff was really good.”

Sophomore hurler Carson Keithley came in and retired the Bearkat side in the third. The Bobcats were able to get the lead back for good when Lewis drove in second run, plating Manning, then San Antonio native and junior August Ramirez came into to pinch hit and struck a ground-rule RBI double to deep left field, bouncing off the warning track and over the wall to make the score 4-2.

“August had a great opening weekend, then struggled against Oral Roberts a little bit,” Trout said of Ramirez’s at-bat in the third. “It was really big for him to come off the bench. We had some match ups we could play with coming in, and I look really smart when I bring the guy in and he hits the double. But, he has been really working hard on his swing.”

Texas State added two more runs on the evening, with the fifth run coming in the sixth inning when Gonzalez delivered home his 101st career RBI on a single to right field.

“That is why they are up there at the top of the lineup to get on base and drive guys in,” Trout said, referring to his second, third, fourth and fifth hitters who combined for a 9-hits tonight.

“They did that. It wasn’t always the prettiest, but they found a way to grind it out. (Daylan) Pena had a big hit late, to bust it open even more, to give us a more comfortable lead and more breathing room.”

With the two bounce-back performances, Texas State now looks to keep the momentum going in the Bobcats next series.

“We had some nice quality at bats tonight, and it was good to see (that) going into this weekend,” Trout said. “For us to be able to get back-to-back wins on consecutive nights with double-digit hits is a really good sign. ... We are going against a really good Grand Canyon team that has a really good staff. We finally get to practice again tomorrow, so just being able to get out there and get used to their own grass and dirt for the first time all year.”

Texas State will make their first out of state trip of the season as the Bobcats head to Arizona, taking on the GCU Antelopes in a three-game weekend series. Twitter: @SA_HCPreps

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