No. 15 Texas State scores three in ninth to beat ULM, 5-4

MONROE, Louisiana – The No. 15 Texas State scored three runs in the top of the ninth inning to regroup from a two-run deficit, then held on for a 5-4 victory over ULM on Friday night in the opener. series at Warhawk Field.

Texas State (36-11 overall, 18-4 Sun Belt Conference) took advantage of two walks, a sacrificial bunt, an error, a sacrificed fly and two hits to take the lead in the ninth. A field error allowed Daylan Pena to score the first run of the inning while Ben McClain reached the error. Wesley Faison hit a sacrificial fly to tackle pinch runner Kyle Atkinson to tie the game at 4. Jose Gonzalez then hit a field single to push Isaiah Ortega-Jones to put the Bobcats up, 5-4.

At the end of the ninth, the ULM (15-28-1, 6-15-1) had Grant Schulz reach on a step and advanced to second on wild pitch but was blocked there as Tristan Stivors threw a scoreless inning for the stoppage, his 11th of the season.

ULM took the lead, putting two runs on the board in the first inning as Schulz hit a 2 RBI single to score Trace Henry and ryan cupit. However, the Warhawks grounded runners at second and third to end the inning.

Texas State responded in the top of the second as Pena hit a solo home run to right center field to cut the lead in half, 2-1.

ULM responded late in the second, as Cupit hit an RBI single to left center, scoring Carson Jonesto repel the lead at two, 3-1.

Texas State struck again in the third as Jose Gonzalez hit a two-out RBI double down the right field line to tackle Dalton Shuffield, closing at 3-2.

The Warhawks again stretched the lead to two points in the bottom half of the third. Jones hit a two-out RBI double to right center to drive home Michelle Artzberger for the 4-2 lead. ULM chased Texas State starting pitcher Zeke Wood after just 2 2/3 innings, his shortest outing of the year.

The pitch settled on both sides after the third inning. Cam Barlow emptied five innings starting for ULM, allowing two runs on three hits with six strikeouts and three walks on 104 pitches. Lucas Wepf pitched two scoreless innings out of the bullpen with three strikeouts and two walks, while Nicholas Judge pitched a scoreless eighth inning with one strikeout and one walk.

Texas State’s Triston Dixon (8-0) silenced the ULM bats. He pitched 5 1/3 shutout innings, allowing three hits with five strikeouts and a walk. He did not allow a hit after the fifth inning.

Carson Orton (1-1) was defeated by ULM, allowing three runs, one earned, on two no-strikes and two walks in one inning.

Henry, Cupit, Schulz and Jones each had two hits for ULM. Gonzalez and Peyton Lewis had two hits apiece to combine for four of Texas State’s five hits.

The series continues at 2 p.m. Saturday at Warhawk Field.

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