Baseball: Roadrunners to host the Bobcats tonight in I-35 rivalry

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

The drama of the Interstate 35 baseball rivalry between the UTSA Roadrunners and the Texas State Bobcats will unfold once again tonight in San Antonio. First pitch in the 103rd meeting between the teams is at 6 p.m. at Roadrunner Field.

Texas State leads 63-39 in the series, which started in 1992. Each year it showcases athletes who grew up in the area, who are now representing universities separated by about 50 miles of freeway through South Texas.

For years, the teams played against one another in the Southland Conference, and then they shared membership for one season in the Western Athletic Conference.

Since 2014, they’ve played in separate leagues, with Texas State operating in the Sun Belt and UTSA in Conference USA and now, starting with this season, in the American Athletic Conference.

UTSA and Texas State have battled the past five years under successful coaches, with Pat Hallmark leading the Roadrunners and Steven Trout guiding the Bobcats. Trout’s Texas State teams own a 4-2 edge against UTSA in that time.

Earlier this season, on March 19, pitching changes were plentiful and home-run balls were flying all over the place as the Bobcats claimed a 14-13 victory over the Roadrunners in San Marcos.

Seven homers were launched, including four by UTSA, on a night when Texas State used eight pitchers and UTSA seven.

The two teams opened the game by going back and forth on each other with scoring binges. UTSA plated four runs in the top of the first inning. Texas State retaliated with nine in the bottom half. By the end of the third inning, the Bobcats led, 14-8.

UTSA stayed in it, with a shot to win, until the very end. Trailing by three runs going into their last at bat, the Roadrunners received a lift when freshman Diego Diaz hit a two-run homer.

Still trailing by one, the Roadrunners had base runners at first and second when Texas State’s Aaron Lugo fielded a ground ball in the infield and stepped on third for a force play to end it.


Texas State 22-23
UTSA 25-18

Coming up

Tonight: Texas State at UTSA, 6 p.m.

AAC series: Wichita State at UTSA
Friday – 6 p.m.
Saturday — 2 p.m.
Sunday — 1 p.m.


Roadrunners coach Pat Hallmark has a chance to reach a career milestone tonight. A victory would give him 200 in his career. Hallmark is 199-138 in seven seasons, which includes two at the University of the Incarnate Word and five at UTSA.

UTSA has played well overall since the March 19 loss to Texas State, posting a 15-7 record since then. The Roadrunners faltered a bit last weekend, losing two at Rice before claiming a 4-2 victory on Sunday behind the pitching of starter Ulises Quiroga. It was the first series loss for the Roadrunners in conference this season. UTSA is 12-6 in the AAC and sits in second place.

After beating UTSA, Texas State has struggled, going 10-14 in a 24-game stretch. Last weekend in Jonesboro, Ark., the Bobcats dropped back-to-back, one-run decisions to Arkansas State before rebounding to claim a 10-0, run-rule victory on Sunday. Drayton Brown pitched a complete game for the win, which could help tonight if the Bobcats need to go deep into their bullpen. Texas State is 8-13 in conference, 11th out of 14 teams.

Ryne Farber, a Texas State freshman from San Antonio’s Johnson High School, has hit safely in all seven games since returning from injury back on April 19. The San Antonio native is 13 for 25 at the plate for a .520 average during that stretch. Farber didn’t play in the first UTSA-Texas State game.

Offensive leaders

Texas State
Batting average: Farber .398, Kameron Weil .327, Aaron Lugo .298.
Home runs: Lugo 9, Daylan Pena 7, August Ramirez 7.
RBI: Pena 39, Chase Mora 38, Lugo 33.

Batting average: Mason Lytle .385, Isaiah Walker .357, Caleb Hill .351.
Home runs: Lytle 9, Hill 9, James Taussig 6.
RBI: Lytle 37, Hill 35, Matt King 34.

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