Spoiling the party: Texas State turns back 22nd-ranked UTSA

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

The grandstands were packed, as were the walkways and concourses on a cool and breezy Tuesday night at UTSA’s Roadrunner Field.

UTSA fans, from the outset, were ready to party as their surging baseball team entered the 101st meeting of the 31-year-old, Interstate-35 rivalry ranked 22nd in the nation.

In the end, though, the Texas State Bobcats spoiled it all.

Davis Powell, a Texas State junior from Lufkin, belted a two-run homer in an 11-hit attack for the Bobcats as they came into San Antonio, took the lead early and downed the Roadrunners, 5-3.

“This was good,” Texas State coach Steve Trout said. “Obviously a great environment. Obviously, you’ve got a great team over there with them being ranked and playing really well. Yeah, it was just a really good win for us. We found a way. It wasn’t always pretty … but we continued to play great defense and got it done.”

Starting pitcher Peyton Zabel earned the victory for the Bobcats, who have won five straight. Zabel worked 3 and 2/3 innings and struck out five. In all, five Texas State pitchers struck out 11 and limited the Roadrunners to seven hits. Cameron Bush pitched the final 2 and 1/3 innings and earned the save.

The game took on an air of controversy as a high fly ball hit by UTSA’s Matt King in the bottom of the fourth curved into the left field corner and cleared the fence for what might have been a two-run homer, only to have it called a foul ball. Naturally, the call elicited groans from the UTSA faithful.

By the next inning, UTSA fans were quiet and Texas State fans were roaring. Powell’s 2-run homer off UTSA reliever Daniel Shafer lifted the Bobcats into a 3-0 lead.

“He missed with the first pitch, a slider away,” Powell said. “Then I got a curve (ball) up and (hit) it.”

After Powell’s blast gave the Bobcats the three-run cushion, the Roadrunners never got closer than two the rest of the way. In the bottom of the seventh, tensions boiled over for the home team, as UTSA coach Pat Hallmark was ejected after having words with the home-plate umpire.

It was a strange inning all the way around, Hallmark’s ouster notwithstanding. First, Tye Odom opened the frame by striking out against Nathan Medrano. Up stepped Barry, and early in the count between pitches, the coach said something to home plate ump Javier Cantu.

Pretty soon, tensions escalated, and Cantu stepped out from behind the plate and motioned for the coach to leave the field.

Hallmark, however, didn’t go quietly. He jogged hurriedly from the third-base coaching box to home plate and started getting more vocal. But as the home crowd jeered, the dust-up didn’t last long. Only for a few seconds. Nevertheless, it was an eye-opener to see the coach walk off, his jaw set, and his team still trailing 5-2.

From there, Barry continued to work the count on Medrano and drew a walk. Next up, Taylor Smith looked at the first two pitches out of the strike zone. On the third offering, a pitch hit came in high and tight and hit Smith in the back. As Smith started to take his free base, time out was called, with Medrano having collapsed on the mound.

Without putting weight on one leg, he was helped off and replaced Rhett McCaffety.

On McCaffety’s second pitch, Antonio Valdez drilled it into center field, bringing Barry around to score while putting runners at first and second. With the crowd getting louder, UTSA failed to take advantage of the opportunity. First, Caleb Hill flied to center. Next, Bush entered the game for Texas State and struck out King to end the threat.

In the eighth and ninth, still batting against Bush, the Roadrunners hit the ball hard to the outfield four times for outs and came up with zeroes on the scoreboard both times. Just one of those nights for UTSA, in some respects. The win was significant for Texas State on a number of levels.

First, it allowed the Bobcats to avenge an 11-2 loss to UTSA in San Marcos on March 7 and boosted the Bobcats to 62-39 all time against the Roadrunners in a series that dates back to 1992.

Also, it showed that even with 13 losses on their record, the Bobcats remain as a dangerous opponent for anyone. Additionally, the win also indicated that they still have some of the spark that allowed them to earn an NCAA tournament at-large bid last season.

Texas State’s winning streak started last week in Austin against nationally-ranked Texas.

It stayed intact through last weekend with a three-game sweep in the Sun Belt Conference of the Marshall Thundering Herd. Now that they’ve won against the Roadrunners, a team that had a 21-3 record at home before Tuesday night, it’s fair to ask whether the Bobcats have found a second gear.

“I hope so,” Trout said. “That’s kind of the trend (of where) were going. The key is we’re finding different ways to win. It’s not just with the long ball, or whatever it might be. We’re finding different ways to get it done. Hopefully that continues.”

For the Roadrunners, both Valdez and Josh Killeen had a couple of hits apiece. Both drove in one run each. Centerfielder Shane Sirdashney did not play for the Roadrunners after tweaking a leg injury running the bases on Sunday against Middle Tennessee State.


Texas State 25-13
UTSA 28-9

Coming up

Both teams will hit the road for three-game series in their respective conferences starting Friday. Texas State travels to Alabama to meet the Troy Trojans in the Sun Belt, while UTSA will trek to Miami, Fla., to face the FIU Panthers in Conference USA.


The crowd was announced at 1,059 as UTSA entered the game ranked 22nd in Baseball America and 25th in D1 Baseball. It was the second time this season that the Roadrunners cracked the Top 25 on a Monday and then lost on a Tuesday to a local rival. The initial Top 25 mention in the program’s 31-year history came out on April 3 when Baseball America installed them at No. 24. On April 4, the Roadrunners played on the road at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, built a five-run lead and then lost 9-6 on a walk-off home run in the ninth inning by Rey Mendoza. Later that same week, UTSA traveled to play a C-USA series at Charlotte and split a pair games to complete the week’s work at 1-2.

JB’s video replay

Texas State at UTSA set for tonight at Roadrunner Field: ‘It’s a rivalry in every way’

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

Like any decent baseball rivalry, a friendly debate between fans of the UTSA Roadrunners and the Texas State Bobcats can start at any moment.

A tweet here. A social media post there. The presence of one team’s fans in the home ballpark of the other. Just about anything can serve as a catalyst for a lively discussion.

With 22nd-ranked UTSA and Texas State set to play at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Roadrunner Field, fans on both sides are warming up their vocal chords. They’re itching to call up their their Twitter, Facebook or Instagram pages.

UTSA coach Pat Hallmark acknowledged over the weekend that, yes, the 31-year-old series between teams from universities separated by about 50 miles remains as a thing.

A South-Central Texas thing.

“Oh, yeah,” Hallmark said. “Cause it’s so close. Geographically, it’s a rivalry, in every way. The kids know it and they enjoy it, and I think the fans obviously know it. So it’s a rivalry. They’re a good team. It’ll be fun.”


Texas State (24-13) at UTSA (28-8), 6 p.m. Tuesday, at Roadrunner Field in San Antonio.

Coming up

Both will hit the road for three-game series in their respective conferences starting Friday. Texas State travels to Alabama to meet the Troy Trojans in the Sun Belt, while UTSA will trek to Miami, Fla., to face the FIU Panthers in Conference USA.

Series updates

Tonight’s game is the 101st meeting between the teams. Texas State leads the series, 61-39. Since 2020, the first season for both Hallmark and Texas State’s Steve Trout in their respective jobs, the teams are 2-2.

Trout’s Bobcats won 11-1 in eight innings in San Marcos in 2020. Last season, the Bobcats won again in San Marcos, 14-12, surviving the Roadrunners, who generated a seven-run rally in the ninth inning. Later, UTSA exacted a measure of revenge with a 14-8 victory at Roadrunner Field to split the season series.

On March 7 of this season, UTSA cranked out 16 hits and beat Texas State in San Marcos at Bobcat Field, 11-2. So, the Roadrunners have won two straight in the series and will be trying to make it three in a row tonight. The Bobcats will be attempting to win in San Antonio for the first time since March 5, 2019.

Monitoring the rankings

In the latest NCAA-generated ratings percentage index, UTSA is 29th this week, and Texas State is 68th. After a 4-0 week last week, UTSA has returned to the top 25 in various media-generated polls, notably at No. 22 in Baseball America and No. 25 in D1 Baseball.

Playing for bragging rights

The contrast between postseason fortunes of the two schools last year continues to stir passions among both fan bases.

For UTSA, last season ended in heartbreak. The Roadrunners got hot in the C-USA postseason, defeating the nationally-ranked Southern Miss Golden Eagles twice on their home field, before they came up short against Louisiana Tech in a title game that would have yielded an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. With a 38-20 record and nine wins against ranked opponents on the season, the Roadrunners were snubbed and did not receive an NCAA at-large bid.

The Bobcats, meanwhile, went on to win the Sun Belt regular-season title, claimed an at-large bid and then took Stanford to the wire in a riveting NCAA regional in Palo Alto, Calif. Texas State was three outs away from advancing to the Super Regional round for the first time in its history when Stanford scored three times in the bottom of the ninth to win, ousting Texas State from the tournament. The Bobcats finished 47-14.

Beating the big boys

The Bobcats have lost 13 games this season but they have caught fire lately, winning four straight. Last week, they lost on a Monday night at home to the nationally-ranked Texas Longhorns before turning around on Tuesday and beating UT on its home field in Austin. Last weekend, Texas State swept a Sun Belt series at home against the Marshall Thundering Herd, winning 5-1, 6-0 and 5-4.

On the same night the Bobcats were beating the Longhorns in Austin, the Roadrunners were winning on the road in the Southeastern Conference, downing the Texas A&M Aggies, 5-1, in College Station. UTSA continued its roll into the weekend, sweeping a C-USA home series against Middle Tennessee State, 13-5, 12-4 and 5-4, moving along on the way to 28 victories on the season. With 19 games remaining before the C-USA tournament, the school record of 39 wins seems to be in reach. As is the first program’s first NCAA tournament bid since 2013.

Are the Roadrunners worthy? Tonight might offer a few clues.

UTSA stays hot, slugging four homers to win on the road at Texas State

Antonio Valdez slammed a home run for the third straight game in a four-homer attack Tuesday night as the UTSA Roadrunners defeated the Interstate-35 rival Texas State Bobcats, 11-2.

UTSA's Antonio Valdez scores the go-ahead run on a double-steal in the bottom of the eighth inning of a 2-1 victory over Incarnate Word at Roadrunner Field on Wednesday, March 1, 2023. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA’s Antonio Valdez leads the team with a .455 batting average, four home runs and 23 RBIs. – Photo by Joe Alexander

In the game played in San Marcos at the Bobcat Ballpark, UTSA won its third straight with a robust offensive showing (16 hits, including seven for extra bases) and solid pitching (15 strikeouts) divided up between four players.

It was an important victory for UTSA, in that the Roadrunners not only prevailed on the road against a team that reached the NCAA tournament last year, but they also won for bragging rights in a series that has stretched to 100 games.

Even with UTSA winning the last two meetings against Texas State in the series, the Bobcats own a 61-39 edge in the head-to-head matchup between programs whose campuses — both populated by more than 30,000 students — are separated by only about 45 miles.

The next game between the two foes is April 18 at Roadrunner Field.


Texas State 7-5
UTSA 11-3

Coming up

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at UTSA, Friday, 6 p.m.

Texas State’s second-half surge sinks the UTSA women, 60-55

Da’Nasia Hood scored four points in a 10-0 run to start the fourth quarter as the Texas State Bobcats rallied past the UTSA Roadrunners 60-55 on Wednesday night in San Marcos.

In all, the Bobcats outscored the Roadrunners 40-26 in the second half. As a result, Texas State (4-2) put a stop to a two-game losing streak and defeated UTSA for the fifth straight time in the Interstate 35 rivalry.

The Bobcats lead 37-33 in the series that dates back to 1981.

For UTSA (1-5), it was a game that held promise early but ultimately turned into a third straight loss. The Roadrunners controlled the action at the outset, leading by 12 in the first quarter and by nine at halftime.

In the second half, they couldn’t contain the Bobcats. Ja’Kayla Bowie led Texas State with 16 points and six rebounds. Bowie hurt the Roadrunners badly in the third quarter with 12 points. Taelour Pruitt scored 14 for the game and Hood added 12.

Junior forward Jordyn Jenkins led the Roadrunners with 18 points and seven rebounds before fouling out in the fourth quarter. Freshman Sidney Love scored 13 points and junior Kyra White had 12 points, seven rebounds and four assists.


Texas State 4-2
UTSA 1-5

Coming up

Idaho at UTSA, Dec. 10.
Loyola Marymount at Texas State, Saturday, 2 p.m.

First half

Coach Karen Aston’s Roadrunners stunned the Bobcats with a 13-1 run in the first five minutes of the game and stayed in control throughout the half, ducking into the dressing room at intermission with a 29-20 lead.

Surprisingly, two of the Bobcats’ top players weren’t much of a factor. Hood was held to only three shots and four points, and point guard Kennedy Taylor had one point and one assist.

Meanwhile, the half belonged to the Roadrunners’ duo of Jenkins and Love. Love had nine points and four rebounds. Love hit all four of her field goal attempts and scored eight.

UTSA’s lead could have been wider had it not been for 14 turnovers. But the Roadrunners shot the ball well, hitting 10 of 22 from the floor before intermission. The Bobcats, meanwhile, were only 7 of 23 and missed some that they should have made.


Texas State leads the series with UTSA, 37-33. The Bobcats have won five straight and six of seven against the Roadrunners. UTSA hasn’t won a game against Texas State since Dec. 1, 2016 in a 72-47 victory in San Antonio.

Medor scores 16 as UTSA holds off the Texas State Bobcats, 61-56

Japhet Medor led UTSA with 16 points. UTSA beat Texas State 61-56 in men's basketball on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022, at the Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

Japhet Medor used his speed to attack the Texas State Bobcats Thursday night, scoring a team-high 16 points. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Sometimes it seems that point guard Japhet Medor was born to pass the basketball. Then again, the 6-foot senior from Flordia is far from one dimensional.

Sometimes he takes it upon himself to shoot.

Medor did just that in the frantic waning moments Thursday night, leading the UTSA Roadrunners past the Texas State Bobcats, 61-56.

UTSA’s spark plug of a playmaker scored seven of his team-high 16 points in the final 3:30 as the Roadrunners registered their biggest victory of the season.

Jacob Germany celebrates as time runs out. UTSA beat Texas State 61-56 in men's basketball on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022, at the Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

Jacob Germany celebrates as time runs out, and UTSA beats rival Texas State University by five. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Not only did they send their I-35 rivals home to San Marcos with a loss, they also knocked off a team that had won the last two Sun Belt Conference regular-season titles.

Savoring the victory for his teammates, Medor explained later that in crunch time of a frenzied game he makes decisions on whether to pass or shoot based on his view of the court.

“I just know where my players are going to be, at the time and moment,” he said. “At a time like that, I’m going fast, and they’re going with me, and it just makes it easier. Everybody gets to their spot. If I’ve got a little hole, I’ll try to sneak through the hole and hit a shot. If not, I’ll take the layup.”

Medor scored 16 in 27 minutes, hitting 5 of 7 from the field and 6 of 8 from the free throw line. He also had five rebounds and two assists.

With just under four minutes remaining, the Bobcats had seized a one-point lead on a three from guard Mason Harrell, the Bobcats’ leading scorer.

Medor didn’t flinch. First, he drove and drew a foul and made two free throws. Next, he euro-stepped his way to the rim to score a field goal and went to the line again. Medor connected to make it a four-point game.

As the clock ticked under 60 seconds, UTSA still had the lead by four but turned it over when DJ Richards was stripped in the backcourt. Harrell turned and scored on a layup. Texas State was within two.

But, by then, Medor had his rhythm. He sped into the defense again and drew a foul from Harrell, and then knocked down two free throws. That was it for the Bobcats, who had won on the road at Rhode Island last Saturday night.

UTSA coach Steve Henson said it was an important victory for his players.

“We needed to walk out of here feeling better,” he said. “Our guys have been good for so long. They’ve done everything we’ve asked of ’em (since June). Just practice the right way. We’ve had no distractions whatsoever …

“This one certainly feels really good. They’re excited. I think it’s something we can build on.”

UTSA didn’t play great but played just well enough to pull out a victory. The Roadrunners shot only 42.9 percent but held the Bobcats to 34.4. They turned it over 19 times, but they also won the rebounding battle, 40-33.

Guard John Buggs III enjoyed a solid night with 13 points and eight rebounds. He hit 3 of 5 from three-point distance, building on a streak in which he has knocked down 7 of 11 from distance over the past two games.

Jacob Germany scored 12 and Richards had nine off the bench. Aleu Aleu was big on the boards with nine rebounds in nearly 21 minutes.

Forward Tyrel Morgan scored 20 to match Harrell, a quick, 5-foot-9 playmaker. Morgan did his work inside, making 8 of 11 from the field. Harrell was 8 for 18, including 4 of 9 from three.


UTSA 3-1
Texas State 2-2

Coming up

Prairie View A&M at UTSA, Tuesday, 7 p.m.

Aleu Aleu is fouled after grabbing a defensive rebound in the final moments of the game. He finished with nine rebounds. UTSA beat Texas State 61-56 in men's basketball on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022, at the Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

Aleu Aleu is fouled after grabbing a defensive rebound in the final moments of the game. He finished with nine rebounds. – Photo by Joe Alexander

First-half recap

For the first time this season, the Roadrunners played zone defense. They played it for most of the first half en route to a 31-27 lead against the Bobcats.

Falling back into the 2-3 zone on their home court at the Convocation Center, they held the Bobcats to 33.3 percent shooting from the field and 3 of 11 from three (for 27.3 percent).

UTSA used the ploy from the outset and jumped out to a 7-0 lead.

Behind Tyrel Morgan and his 13 points, the Bobcats rallied late in the half to regain the advantage. An alley-oop dunk by Morgan lifted Texas State into a 24-23 lead. The Bobcats made it 25-23 on a Morgan free throw with 3:54 left.

Undaunted, the Roadrunners rallied behind Germany and Buggs to lead by four at the break. Christian Tucker capped the run with a drive to the basket and two free throws with no time remaining. Both Germany and Buggs had 10 points apiece at the half.

John Buggs II celebrates late in the game. UTSA beat Texas State 61-56 in men's basketball on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022, at the Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

John Buggs II celebrates late in the game as UTSA nails down a key early-season victory. – Photo by Joe Alexander


The UTSA Roadrunners will host the Texas State Bobcats in men’s basketball. The game is set for 7 p.m. at the UTSA Convocation Center.

Both teams come in with 2-1 records, but the Bobcats might be the team to beat. Texas State won at Rhode Island of the Atlantic 10 conference in its last outing. Moreover, the Bobcats have won back-to-back Sun Belt Conference regular-season titles.

UTSA coach Steve Henson said the Bobcats have “similarities” to last year’s team, even though some of the the top players have moved on in their careers.

“There are similarities, for sure, because they’ve got a great system,” Henson said. “They’re very-well coached. You expect them to be really locked in defensively. Their habits are very good. They’re all on the same page.”

Texas State lost its opener at Washington State of the Pac-12. It followed with a victory at home over non-Division I Mid-America Christian. In Game 3, the Bobcats traveled again and came away with a 70-66 victory over Rhode Island.

Guard Brandon Davis led the way with 15 points on 7 of 9 shooting from the field. Guard Mason Harrell leads the Bobcats in scoring for the season, averaging 18 a game.

The Roadrunners have yet to hit on all cylinders. They downed Division III Trinity University 74-47 in their opener. Next, they lost 75-55 at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. On Monday night, they hosted Division II St. Mary’s of San Antonio and pulled out a 66-59 victory.

Offense has been a concern. UTSA is shooting 40 percent from the field and 25.6 percent from three-point territory.

“I think we have a great team,” UTSA guard Erik Czumbel said. “I think we have a lot of room to grow. Defensively. Rebounding. There are lot of areas we can work on. But I think we are taking the right steps.”

Stanford rallies in the ninth inning to end Texas State’s season

Texas State relief pitcher Tristan Stivors, a senior from Medina Valley High School, pitching against UTSA at Roadrunner Field on Tuesday, April 26, 2022. - photo by Joe Alexander

Tristan Stivors, Texas State’s All-American closer, started and pitched seven innings against Stanford. He gave up one run in a masterful performance, only to see his team let a late lead slip away. Here, he is shown pitching on April 26 at UTSA. – Photo by Joe Alexander

A record-breaking baseball season for the Texas State Bobcats came to a heartbreaking end Monday night in California. Leading by two runs going into the bottom of the ninth inning, the Bobcats couldn’t hold on.

The home-team Stanford Cardinal scored three runs in their last at-bat and escaped with a 4-3 victory to claim the championship of the NCAA tournament’s Stanford regional.

Stanford coach David Esquer called it a “miracle” finish. Texas State coach Steven Trout said he thought it was “an unreal” game.

“Last game of regionals, we pushed it to the brink,” Trout told reporters at the game site in Palo Alto, Calif. “Obviously thought we had it, going up 3-1. I mean, you got to tip your hat. They took some great swings in some big moments … That’s why they’re the No. 2 team in the country.

“Just couldn’t be more proud of my guys.”

With the victory, Stanford (45-15) advanced to the Super Regionals. The Cardinal, the No. 2 seed in the 64-team NCAA field, will host the Connecticut Huskies this weekend in a best-of-three series.

The Bobcats (47-14) likely will lament the lost opportunity for some time.

Texas State, frustrated with an inability to hit with runners on base for most of the evening, finally put it together in the top of the ninth.

They broke a tie and took a 3-1 lead when Wesley Faison ripped a two-run single off Stanford reliever Braden Montgomery.

Moving to the bottom of the ninth, they were three outs away from their first regional title and their first Super Regional, which would have been held on their home field in San Marcos.

But just as their vocal fans in attendance started to think about winning on the home field of one of the nation’s most storied programs, the lead slipped away. Stanford sophomore Drew Bowser opened the inning with a solo homer to left field.

Duly inspired, sophomore Tommy Troy followed with another solo blast, this one to deep center. Centerfielder Isaiah Ortega-Jones leaped for the ball, but couldn’t reach it. Just like that, the Cardinal had tied the game, 3-3.

At that point, Texas State pulled reliever Zeke Wood, who gave up both homers. Levi Wells entered to try and put out the fire, only to have Eddie Park greet him with a single — his fourth hit of the night.

Park moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt, which prompted Texas State to walk Brock Jones intentionally. With runners at first and second, a double play could have ended the inning. But it wasn’t to be.

As freshman Trevor Haskins entered the game as a pinch-hitter, Wells threw a wild pitch, allowing runners to move up to second and third. Wells appeared to hang a slider, and Haskins stroked it to left for a single, which scored Park with the winning run.

“A lot of respect for Texas State,” Stanford coach David Esquer said. “What a quality team. Obviously it went right down to the very end. They were unbelievably good and tough on us. We had to dig down deep for a miracle there at the end.”


Texas State 47-14
Stanford 45-15


Texas State finished with a school-record 47 victories and won the regular-season title in the Sun Belt Conference.

The Bobcats entered the NCAA tournament ranked second in the Stanford regional and opened Friday with a 7-3 victory over UC Santa Barbara. They followed Saturday night by matching up against the home team and claiming a 5-2 victory, which snapped a 17-game winning streak by the Cardinal.

Not only was it the first 2-0 start for the Bobcats in a regional, it put them in position to close out with the regional title on Sunday night.

Stanford didn’t let that happen. The Cardinal won an elimination game against UC Santa Barbara, 8-4, on Sunday afternoon. A few hours later, they took on Texas State for the second straight night and won — again by an 8-4 score.

In the winner-take-all game Monday, Trout flipped the script with his pitching. He elected to start All-American closer Tristan Stivors, who responded with a dazzling performance.

Stivors, a senior from San Antonio-area Medina Valley High School, toiled for seven innings and held the powerful Cardinal in check. In a 101-pitch drama, he gave up one run on eight hits. Stivors struck out nine and walked one.

Trout said he was looking for two or three innings from Stivors, who led the nation with 18 saves this year.

“For us, it was mainly, just get off to a good start, whatever that looked like,” Trout said. “You know, just kind of watch his stuff and how they reacted to it. He just kept pounding it in there. When we finally got out (to see him) in the seventh, he was losing a little bit (of his stuff), and I was going to pull him for the lefty, and he looked at me and said, ‘Don’t take me out.’ That’s just who he is.

“I hope the kid pitches in the big leagues, because he has the stuff, he has the guts to do it.”

While Stivors was making big pitches, a cadre of Cardinal pitchers were doing the same. Texas State finished the game with 10 hits but left 11 runners stranded. With runners on base, the Bobcats were 4 for 20. With runners in scoring position, they were 2 for 13.

Stanford used six pitchers on the night.

Joey Dixon started, followed by Max Meier, Drew Dowd, Ryan Bruno, Braden Montgomery and Brandt Pancer.

“I’m so proud of that pitching staff,” Esquer said. “Drew Dowd, who went as long as anybody, 2 and 1/3 (innings). From Dixon to Meier to Bruno, who pitched for the third day in a row. Montgomery, we pull (him) out of right field. What a lot to ask of him, to go two innings for the first time in a long time.

“No blame on what he did for us. And then Brandt Pancer obviously coming in, and getting that last out in the ninth. Just proud of this team.”

Texas State upsets Stanford and inches closer to an NCAA regional title

Another night, another milestone for the Texas State Bobcats’ baseball team. The Bobcats hit three home runs Saturday in a 5-2 NCAA tournament victory over Stanford, which snapped the Cardinal’s 17-game winning streak.

Jose Gonzalez ripped two homers and Wesley Faison added another as the Bobcats upended the top-seeded team on its home field in the Palo Alto regional.

More importantly, the second-seeded Bobcats improved to 2-0 in the tournament and moved to within one victory of the regional title.

On Sunday, third-seeded UC Santa Barbara and Stanford will play the first game of the day. It’s an elimination game, with the loser going home. The winner will meet the Bobcats on Sunday night. If the Bobcats win, they would claim their first regional crown.

If they lose, the same teams would play again on Monday to decide which team advances to the Super Regional round.

Levi Wells, a sophomore from La Porte, pitched seven innings and allowed two runs to earn the victory. Finishing on the back end was Tristan Stivors, from San Antonio area Medina Valley High School, who worked the last two innings for his national-best 18th save.

In the past few weeks, the Bobcats have strung together some impressive team accomplishments. They won the regular-season title in the Sun Belt Conference. They set a school record for victories in a season, which is now at 47.

On Friday, they hit two home runs and cruised to a 7-3 victory over UC Santa Barbara.

In beating Stanford on Saturday, the Bobcats may have topped everything. The Cardinal entered the NCAA tournament as the No. 2 overall seed in the 64-team field. Stanford hadn’t lost a game since May 1 at Washington, and yet the the Bobcats won and opened an NCAA tournament regional at 2-0 for the first time.

This is Texas State’s sixth trip to the NCAAs, and its first since 2011.


Texas State 47-12
Stanford 42-15

Coming up

Sunday — UC Santa Barbara vs. Stanford, 3 p.m. UC Santa Barbara-Stanford winner vs. Texas State, 9 p.m.

Monday — Championship game, if necessary, TBD.


Gonzalez stepped to the plate in the bottom of the first and blasted a solo home run, pulling it over the right field wall, for a 1-0 Texas State lead. After Stanford tied the game with a run in the second inning, the Bobcats retaliated in the fourth. First, Gonzalez led off with a solo shot to the opposite field in left. His blow made it 2-1 Texas State. Next, Justin Thompson doubled down the line. Faison, the next batter up, ripped a two-run shot to make it 4-1.


Asked jokingly by an ESPN commentator what he had to eat before the game, Gonzalez said he had rice and beans at a San Francisco restaurant. “I was pretty disappointed with myself yesterday,” he said. “I felt like I was trying to do too much a little bit. I just had to go back to .. what got me to this point now. Seeing the ball deep and being able to react and hit the pitches, you know.”

Texas State powers past UC Santa Barbara 7-3 in NCAA tournament opener

The Texas State Bobcats returned to the NCAA baseball tournament for the first time in 11 years Friday night, and they made the most of the opportunity with a 7-3 victory over the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Palo Alto, Calif.

Playing in the Palo Alto regional, on tree-lined Klein Field at Sunken Diamond, the Bobcats scored four runs in the fourth inning to take the lead for good against the Gauchos. The big blow in the inning was a three-run home run by Peyton Lewis.

Ben McClain hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning for a 6-3 lead. It was Texas State’s 82nd home run of the season, and it sailed high over the trees in right center. Lewis walked with the bases loaded in the seventh to make it 7-3, earning his fourth RBI on the night.

Zeke Wood, Triston Dixon and Austin Smith combined to hold the Gauchos to six hits. Wood, a 6-foot-4, righthander, pitched six innings to earn the victory. He improved to 7-1. Smith worked the final 2 and 2/3 innings to pick up the save.

Saddled with his first loss of the season, UC Santa Barbara starting pitcher Cory Lewis dropped to 9-1. He was roughed up for four runs on four hits in five innings.

With the victory, the Bobcats moved along in the winners bracket of the double-elimination tournament, set to meet the powerful Stanford Cardinal on Saturday — on the Cardinal’s home field.

Stanford, on a 17-game winning streak after a 20-7 victory over Binghamton, N.Y., is the No. 2 overall seed in the NCAA tournament and the top seed in the regional. Texas State is the second seed in the regional.

Three-seed UC Santa Barbara will play four seed Binghamton, from Vestal, N.Y., in the losers bracket.


Texas State 46-12
UC Santa Barbara 43-13

Coming up

Saturday — Binghamton vs. UC Santa Barbara (losers bracket), time TBD; Texas State vs. Stanford (winners bracket), 9 p.m.


One of the plays of the game came in the bottom of the third when Dalton Shuffield, a Texas State senior from San Antonio’s Johnson High School, hit a drive to the outfield wall that was caught on the run by UC Santa Barbara centerfielder Nick Vogt.

In the eighth inning, Shuffield walked and took second on a wild pitch but then was picked off for the second out. Shuffield, the Sun Belt Conference’s player of the year, went one for three in the game.

Because of Austin Smith’s strong performance to finish the game in relief, Tristan Stivors, the national leader in saves with 17, did not pitch for the Bobcats. Stivors, a first-team, All American by Collegiate Baseball magazine, is from San Antonio-area Medina Valley High School.

Sweet success: UTSA rallies to knock off No. 7 Texas State

Matt King had two hits and drove in three runs and had some strong defensive plays at shortstop in UTSA's 14-8 victory over Texas State on Tuesday, April 26, 2022, at Roadrunner Field. - photo by Joe Alexander

Freshman Matt King had two hits, drove in three runs and made some strong defensive plays at shortstop in UTSA’s 14-8 victory over Texas State. – Photo by Joe Alexander

After five innings in Tuesday night’s Interstate 35 rivalry game at Roadrunner Field, the feeling in the grandstands for fans of the visiting Texas State Bobcats was one of confidence.

The Texas State bullpen was toying with UTSA, stringing together four straight scoreless innings, all while using pinpoint control to keep the home-team’s hitters hopelessly off balance. A three-run lead for the seventh-ranked team in the nation? Well, it seemed pretty safe.

Ryan Beaird, a freshman from Reagan High School, pitched scoreless fifth and sixth innings to get the win in UTSA's 14-8 victory over Texas State on Tuesday, April 26, 2022, at Roadrunner Field. - photo by Joe Alexander

Ryan Beaird, a freshman from Reagan High School, pitched scoreless fifth and sixth innings to get the win. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Until the bottom of the sixth, that is. At that juncture, the Roadrunners took what may be remembered as an important step in their season — maybe the most important to date — by exploding for eight runs on the way to a decisive 14-8 victory.

Not only did the Roadrunners end the rival Bobcats’ nine-game winning streak, they also likely gained some national recognition, which could come in handy when bids are handed out for the NCAA postseason tournament.

“I think the most impressive thing (to) me about tonight was just seeing our team not give up, (seeing it) persist,” UTSA freshman Matt King said. “Coach (Pat) Hallmark is always talking about it. Persist. If we get down, we’re always in the game. It don’t matter how many outs are left. We’re always in the game.”

For the Bobcats, the bottom of the sixth was an inning filled with blown opportunities. If their pitchers had thrown only a few more strikes, they might have survived it. If their defense hadn’t made two errors, then UTSA’s four hits wouldn’t have caused nearly as much damage.

Texas State coach Steven Trout in a game at UTSA on Tuesday, April 26, 2022. - photo by Joe Alexander

The Texas State Bobcats, under third-year coach Steve Trout, moved up to seventh in one national poll earlier this week. – Photo by Joe Alexander

But, with two walks, a hit batsman, a botched double-play attempt and a fumbled bunt out in front of the pitcher’s mound, the Roadrunners took full advantage of the situation.

First, they seized the lead and then, ultimately, they blew the game open with a three-run double by King, an 18-year-old freshman from Kingwood Pak High School in the Houston area.

By the time King’s two-out, line drive into center field was chased down and relayed back to the infield, Sammy Diaz and Chase Keng had already scored. Isaiah Walker, who started out on first base, wheeled all the way around and slid in head first at home just ahead of a relay throw for a 13-8 UTSA lead.

“Right off the bat, I knew I squared it up,” King said. “I just put my head down and started running. I was just trying to get a pitch I could handle and help my team.”

UTSA fans, including some who live to celebrate success against Texas State in any sport, roared their approval and chanted the school’s four-letter name. ‘UT-SA!’ King just stood on second base, taking it all in.

“It’s always good to get a win,” King said. “But this one meant more. I mean, everyone came out to support. It was great. We had great energy at the Bird Bath tonight. It was awesome.”

For UTSA’s baseball players, the energy seems to be building by the day. They have won four in a row heading into a Conference USA weekend series at Middle Tennessee, and in their last 18 games, the Roadrunners have posted a 15-3 record.

John Chomko pitched two-plus scoreless innings in UTSA's 14-8 victory over Texas State on Tuesday, April 26, 2022, at Roadrunner Field. - photo by Joe Alexander

John Chomko struck out three in two scoreless innings for the Roadrunners. — Photo by Joe Alexander

Winning consistently in mid-week situations, they have registered victories this season against second-ranked Stanford, 11th-ranked TCU and now No. 7 Texas State, a Sun Belt Conference team with 32 victories.

Last week in San Marcos, Texas State held off UTSA, 14-12, claiming the win after the Roadrunners had scored seven runs in the top of the ninth. This week, the Roadrunners turned the tables, emerging victorious against the Bobcats for the first time since 2019.

“Yeah, it’s a little rivalry game,” Hallmark said. “(Texas State) coach (Steve) Trout, he does such a good job with them. We kind of started together (both hired, for the 2020 season), and we’re so close (in proximity), we pay a lot of attention to each other.

“I’ve got a great deal of respect for him. He’s got a great club. It’s a little bit like ours, (with) some older hitters. Hitters that are just very, very disciplined. They’re hard to strike out. They don’t let things bother them.

“It’s a great win, because they’re so good.”


UTSA 28-13
Texas State 32-10


The Roadrunners fell behind early, 2-0, in the top of the first. Then they exploded for five in the bottom half for a three-run lead. Undeterred, the Bobcats answered with four runs in the second inning. Ben McClain hit a three-run homer and Dalton Shuffield a solo shot. In the third, the Bobcats added two more runs for an 8-5 lead.

On many nights previous to this one, the Bobcats might have rolled to a double-figure scoring total and a lopsided win. Not this time. UTSA relievers, including Simon Miller, Reece Easterling, Ryan Beaird (2-1), John Chomko and Luke Malone answered the call.

Trying to put out the fire in the third, Miller gave up an unearned run. But that was it. The Bobcats would not score again. Easterling pitched one inning, Beaird and Chomko worked two apiece, and then Malone — UTSA’s ace — finished with the last three outs.

Offensively, Leyton Barry had three hits, while Ian Bailey, Keng, Walker and King finished with two apiece.

King had a memorable sixth inning with two hits in two at bats. First, he singled and later scored. On his next time up, he lashed the 3-RBI double.

Keng is UTSA’s hottest hitter over UTSA’s 15-3 surge with 26 hits (in the 17 games that he has played during that stretch). Barry, meanwhile, is the team’s hottest hitter in the short term. In UTSA’s last five games, he has produced multiple hits in each game, 13 in all.

Hallmark praised King as a “savvy” athlete who has played year round since grade school. He showed off his poise late in the game, helping to turn a double play on one maneuver. On another, he made a difficult catch of a pop fly in foul territory.

With a .274 average at the plate, he is expected to improvce with age, maturity and time in the weight room.


“At that plate, what he needs more than anything, is just strength, which comes with time,” Hallmark said. “His swing is fine. He’s got a good approach. He knows college pitching is tougher, and he’s working on it. He’s going to be a great hitter for us as long as the strength keeps comimg.”

Scenes from the sixth

Coming up

UTSA — Three-game C-USA series at Middle Tennessee State, starting Friday.
Texas State — Three-game series in the Sun Belt, at home, against South Alabama, starting Friday.

Texas State at UTSA game tonight carries NCAA implications

UTSA's Chase Keng playing against Florida International on Sunday, April 24, 2022, at Roadrunner Field in San Antonio. - photo by Joe Alexander

Chase Keng has emerged as one of UTSA’s hottest hitters. He’s averaging .387 with six doubles, a triple and two homers during the Roadrunners’ recent 14-3 surge.- Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA and Texas State, two old rivals with designs on reaching the NCAA baseball tournament, will meet tonight at 6 at Roadrunner Field.

Both enter the game on hot streaks, with the Roadrunners riding a 14-3 surge in their last 17 games, while the Bobcats have won nine straight. Texas State is 12-3 in its last 15.

The two programs separated by about 50 miles of interstate highway played for the first time in two years last week in San Marcos, and Texas State held off UTSA 14-12 despite the Roadrunners rallying for seven runs in the ninth inning.

Last weekend, both teams swept three-game series at home within their own conferences, with Texas State (32-9) blitzing the Little Rock Trojans in the Sun Belt and UTSA (27-13) rolling past the FIU Panthers in Conference USA.

This week, Texas State is ranked anywhere from No. 7 to No. 20 in the polls.

UTSA is unranked except that it is receiving votes in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers poll. In the NCAA ratings percentage index, Texas State is 47th and UTSA 58th.

Sixty four teams make the NCAA tournament, which starts in June.

Tonight’s starters

UTSA’s Ryan Ward (1-0, 4.50) against Texas State’s Tevis Sundgren (2-4, 6.23)


UTSA 27-13
Texas State 32-9

Last NCAA appearance

UTSA — 2013
Texas State — 2011

Coming up

UTSA — On Friday, UTSA opens a Conference USA road series at the Middle Tennessee State
Texas State — Will start a Sun Belt Conference series at home Friday against South Alabama

The series

Texas State leads the series against UTSA, 61-37. The Bobcats have won two straight off the Roadrunners and four of the past five.

The Bobcats and Roadrunners played in the same conference for most of the three-decades old rivalry, first in the Southland and for one year in the Western Athletic Conference.

In the 2014 season, the Bobcats started play in the Sun Belt, while UTSA linked with Conference USA. Over that period of time, Texas State has won 10 of the 18 games overall, but UTSA has won five of the eight meetings held in San Antonio.

The national rankings

Texas State – UTSA

RPI 47 – 58
Baseball America 19 – NR
Collegiate Baseball 7 – NR
D1Baseball 17 – NR
NCBWA 20 – receiving votes
Perfect Game NR NR
USA Today Coaches 18 NR

Series results

The Bobcats and the Roadrunners have played in separate conferences since the 2014 season. Here are the results of their games since then:


Texas State wins 14-12 at San Marcos on April 19


Did not play


Texas State wins 11-1 at San Marcos on March 10


UTSA wins 8-5 at San Antonio on April 30

Texas State wins 14-1 at San Marcos on April 2

Texas State wins 8-3 at San Antonio on March 5


UTSA wins 5-3 at San Marcos on April 3

UTSA wins 7-2 at San Antonio on March 20

Texas State wins 5-2 at San Marcos on March 13


Texas State wins 11-8 at San Antonio on May 2

UTSA wins 9-1 at San Marcos on March 7


Texas State wins 6-0 at San Antonio on May 3

Texas State wins 13-10 at San Marcos on April 5

UTSA wins 14-7 at San Antonio on March 15


UTSA wins 10-8 at San Marcos on April 14

UTSA wins 5-4 at San Antoio on March 31

Texas State wins 11-7 at San Marcos on March 17


UTSA wins 7-2 at San Antonio on April 15

Texas State wins 7-6 at San Marcos on April 1