Texas St. notches fifth shutout in a row
Bobcats run scoreless streak to 50 1/3 innings after sweep of Irish
SAN MARCOS, Texas -- The Texas State pitching staff continued its dominance on Sunday afternoon at Bobcat Ballpark as the Bobcats defeated Notre Dame 5-0 for the team's fifth consecutive shutout. Texas State pitchers have now gone 50 1/3 consecutive innings without allowing a run, dating back to February 25 against Houston. The Bobcats have also not allowed an earned run in the last 54 1/3 consecutive innings.
The team's scoreless innings streak is already a program record and is approaching the NCAA record of 64 innings set in 1972 by Arizona State.
In addition, Texas State starting pitcher Kyle Finnegan made it seven consecutive games that a Bobcat starting pitcher has not allowed an earned run. The Bobcat sophomore had a career day on the mound, striking out a career-high 12 batters over seven innings while allowing just three hits. Finnegan's first seven outs of the game all came from strikeouts as he bettered his previous career high of six strikeouts in the third inning.
|TEXAS STATE WEEKEND STARTERS|
|*Season stats through March 4|
“I felt like I had really good fastball command,” Finnegan said. “Once you establish your fastball, everything kind of works off that.”
Making just his fourth career start, Finnegan kept his record perfect for both the season (3-0) and his career (4-0). He lowered his ERA for the season to just 0.47 and increased his strikeout total to 22 in 19 innings on the mound.
“I thought Kyle Finnegan's focus was tremendous,” said head coach Ty Harrington. “His breaking ball was good again.”
Bobcat relievers Dylan Adamek and Hunter Lemke came in to pitch the eighth and ninth innings and did not allow a hit as the team held the Fighting Irish – a team that entered the weekend with a .335 team batting average – to just three hits for the second consecutive day.
Texas State's team ERA was lowered to 1.31 in the victory.
“I don't really know how you would describe it,” Harrington said. “Unbelievable would be a great word for it. It's fun to watch out there because you have guys with opportunities who are taking advantage of them.”
The win was the sixth in a row for Texas State as the Bobcats improved to 8-3 on the season, while Notre Dame dropped to 5-4.
Offensively, Texas State got things going in the fourth inning when Andrew Stumph doubled down the left field line to bring home Jeff McVaney from first base for a 1-0 Texas State lead.
Texas State extended its lead in the sixth inning when Casey Kalenkosky started the inning with a triple – his third of the season – and McVaney followed with an RBI single through the middle for a 2-0 lead. Two batters later, Nick Smelser hit one to the right-center field gap for a double that brought McVaney home from first for a 3-0 advantage.
The Bobcats added two runs in the bottom of the eighth innings as Kalenkosky led off the inning with a double to center field and Stumph followed with an RBI double off the wall in left field. The RBI was the fifth of the series for Stumph.
Three batters later, Cody Perkins singled to the gap in left-center, allowing Nick Smelser to come home for the game's final run.
Kalenkosky extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a single in the fourth inning as part of a 3 for 4 day at the plate with two run scored. Stumph was also 3 for 4 and added a pair of RBIs, while Smelser was 2 for 4 with a run scored and an RBI.
Texas State will look to keep its scoreless innings streak alive when the team returns to the field on March 6 against nationally-ranked Rice. The Bobcats will send senior RHP Mitchell Pitts (1-1) to the mound.