Bobcats spoil Longhorns' night with walk-off victory

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Senior Kacy Clemens taunted a rowdy Texas State crowd by hushing them with an index finger over his mouth as he trotted into the visitor’s dugout at the end of the fourth inning.

The first baseman had just completed a double play to bail his team out of trouble in front of a record-setting 3,017 Bobcat Ballpark attendance Tuesday night.

Nevertheless, the sea of roaring Bobcat fans had reason to be hostile — their team had never won a game against Texas in San Marcos. But history was rewritten in dramatic fashion as the final Texas State baserunner crossed home plate to complete a Bobcat walk-off win at 11-10.

Both teams lit up the scoreboard with 33 total hits collected in the match. Junior Travis Jones led the Longhorn offense, going 3-for-5 with a homerun and being just a triple shy of the cycle. As a San Marcos native, freshman shortstop David Hamilton also added fuel to the rivalry by collecting two hits and a pair of stolen bases.

The electric crowd evoked adrenaline within the baserunners as both sides found enough speed to total six stolen bases in the game.

After allowing three stolen bases in previous innings, sophomore pitcher Nick Kennedy threw over to first base in an attempt to keep Texas State’s Jacob Almendarez from stealing second in the fifth inning.

However, Kennedy’s ball flew past Clemens and rolled far into the outfield foul area. Almendarez’s innocent single turned into a game-tying run as he sped all the way home from first base to make it 3-3.

During the seventh inning, Almendarez found his way to first base once again. He slowly inched his way off the bag in his quest to steal second base. But sophomore reliever Chase Shugart showed his own kind of stealth as he flipped the ball to Clemens at first. The Longhorns’ precise pickoff play sent Almendarez back to the dugout in a flash.

The Longhorns found some breathing room after sophomore designated hitter Kody Clemens crushed a solo homer to break the tie at 6-5 during the seventh inning. Texas tagged on three more runs during the next inning to widen the lead to 9-5.

The momentum shifted between the teams throughout the match. The Longhorns found multiple ways to score go-ahead runs, but the Bobcats were always right behind them to tie up the game on four different occasions.

But the last player to bring in a run wore a maroon jersey. Texas State’s Ryan Newman scored the game-winning run in the 10th inning after Luke Sherley sent the ball into right center field for his fourth hit of the match. The Bobcats won 11-10 and sent their fans home with a fairy-tale ending to a thrilling rivalry.

Walking into the clubhouse empty-handed, the Longhorns now fall to 13–10 on the season. They will return home looking to erase a four-game skid as they host UT Rio Grande Valley Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.