· Box score
|Junior Ryan Hutson's two-run home run in the eighth on Saturday was his 11th of the season and 35th of his three-year career.
— Jeff McVaney drove home Bret Atwood with the game-winning run with a two-out single in the ninth and No. 30 Texas State rallied in the late innings for a 6-5 victory against UTSA on Saturday.
The Bobcats (27-14, 17-6 SLC) won for the sixth time in their last seven contests and sent the Roadrunners (14-26, 5-18 SLC) to their 12th loss in the last 14 outings.
Clint Vest began the final-inning rally by drawing a lead-off walk from UTSA junior closer Kevin Clarke (3-2). After Colton Burnett came on to pinch run for Vest, Clarke struck out Laurn Randell, but Atwood followed with a single to left, putting runners on first and second. A Kyle Livingstone fielder’s choice to third got the right-hander one out closer to wiggling out of the jam, but McVaney lined the first pitch he saw into left center, assuring Texas State of its third consecutive I-35 rivalry series victory against the Roadrunners (fourth in last five seasons overall).
That made a winner out of Garret Carruth (4-2), who came on in the top of the frame with a runner on second and one down. The 6-foot-4 righty fanned senior Ryan Rummel on four pitches and then coaxed a ground out to third off the bat of freshman Ryan Dalton to end the threat.
UTSA appeared to be in position to even the series at a game apiece when junior Ryan Hutson launched a two-run home run in the eighth, which was his 11th of the season and 35th of his three-year career (No. 4 UTSA history). However, the 5-3 edge was short-lived, as Clarke was unable to protect the lead in the bottom of the frame.
Clarke, who blew his fourth save in eight chances this spring, surrendered consecutive singles off the bats of Livingstone and McVaney to start the stanza and he then threw a wild pitch that allowed the runners to move up a base. Jason Martinson brought home Livingstone with a sacrifice fly to right and Kyle Kubitza followed with a double to left center, which plated McVaney with the tying run.
Clarke surrendered three runs on a half dozen hits and walked one in his 1.2 innings of work.
UTSA lit up the scoreboard in the opening inning with two runs on a pair of hits.
Junior Tyler Carpenter led off the game with a single to right and came home one batter later when sophomore Casey Selsor lined a triple to right center. After a pair of walks loaded the bases, Selsor crossed the plate on freshman Ryan Dalton's double-play grounder to third.
The Roadrunners then manufactured a run in the second to stretch the advantage to three.
Junior Brett Aguilar stroked a lead-off double to left center and moved to third on a ground out to second by freshman Daniel Rockett. Senior Jeff Taliaferro followed with a walk and Aguilar then came home on Carpenter's sacrifice fly in foul territory to right.
Texas State got on the board in the fifth with a pair of fortuitous bounces.
Jordan Kopycinski's bad-hop single with one down got past Dalton, which allowed Kubitza, who drew a lead-off walk, to score. Atwood then hit the first-base bag with a chopper down the line three hitters later and that allowed Kopycinski to cross the dish with the second run of the inning.
Kubitza's solo home run with two down in the sixth, his team-leading eighth of the season, tied the game at three.
Junior righty Taylor Walton, making just his third start of the season, gave the Birds a quality start for the second weekend in a row. The Midland native allowed three runs on seven hits, walked two and fanned one in his seven innings of work.
Aguilar, Hutson and Selsor each had two hits for UTSA, while Atwood, Kubitza, Livingstone and McVaney recorded a pair of safeties for Texas State, which had a dozen on the afternoon.
The home-and-home series will move over to Roadrunner Field for Sunday's finale. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. in what will be the beginning of a season-long eight-game home stand for the Roadrunners.