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.

Records

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.

Notable

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.

Quotable

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.”

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