SAN MARCOS, Texas – The Trojans used three pitchers to record a 3-0 shut-out victory over the Bobcats at Bobcats Ballpark. Travis McDonald, Dyllon Brownmiller and Ethan Schlechte combined for 11 strikeouts to earn a huge Sun Belt Conference win.
UALR (22-27, 8-17 SBC) scored in the second, third and seventh as they outhit Texas State (27-22, 15-10 SBC) 9-4 in-route to the win. Ben Crumpton collected three hits and two stolen bases to lead the offense and McDonald worked 5.2 scoreless and Schlechte picked up his first career save retiring all five batters he faced.
The Trojans jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the second as Bryson Thionnet drew a leadoff walk and stole second before Justin Steelmon moved him to third with a groundout. Drew Merten earned his 21st RBI of the season by driving Thionnet in with a groundout to second.
Sam Vogel started UALR’s half of the third inning with a triple to left-center. Austin Pfeiffer, then, stepped to the plate and—just as Merten did in the previous innings—provided an RBI-groundout to second base. Crumpton extended the inning with a single up the middle and stole second to earn his 29th stolen base of the season. The inning continued as Tanner Rockwell and Thionnet drew walks to load the bases, but the Trojans were unable to expand their 2-0 lead.
McDonald cruised through the first four innings with five strikeouts, but ran into trouble by walking the first two batters of the fifth. But the senior got a strikeout, shallow fly to right and a groundball to strand the two runners and preserve the lead.
The Bobcats got two more runners on in the sixth with two outs against McDonald and UALR turned to Brownmiller. The reliever, struck out Austin O’Neal to get out of the jam.
McDonald finished his night going 5.2 scoreless innings allowing just two hits and two walks while striking out six.
In the seventh the Trojans chased Austen Williams from the game with a one-out triple by Petr Sila. Crumpton’s third hit of the game brought Sila to the plate and made it 3-0 in UALR’s favor.
Brownmiller hit Trey Hicks and allowed a pinch-hit single to Colby Targun to put runners on first and second with one out. The junior got a strikeout before hitting Cory Geisler to load the bases. David Paiz worked the count full against Brownmiller before grounding out to Pfeiffer at shortstop to end the threat.
Brownmiller got the first batter of the eighth out, but after a double was replaced on the mound by Schlechte. Schlechte got the next two batters out to keep the runner on second and the Bobcats scoreless.
Crumpton led the offense with three hits and two stolen bases. Merten extended his hitting streak to nine games with a single in the eighth. Vogel added a single and a triple in the winning effort.
The Trojans and Bobcats will meet again on Saturday with the first pitch scheduled for 3:00 p.m. The series will wrap up on Sunday with the game at 1:00 p.m.