SAN MARCOS — Texas took a three-run lead into the ninth inning, but lost to Texas State in dramatic walk-off fashion Tuesday night, 7-6.
It was only the second time the Bobcats have beaten Texas in San Marcos.
After Texas State’s Will Hollis’ second home run of the game — a two-run shot in the bottom of the ninth — the Bobcats, trailing 6-5, loaded the bases with one out and senior center fielder Skyler Valentine at the plate. He hammered a two-run walk-off single down the right side for the victory.
The Longhorns (24-19) have now lost eight of their last 12 games and were swept last weekend at Oklahoma State; Texas is 5-9 in Big 12 play with West Virginia coming to town this weekend.
“We did a lot of good things tonight,” Texas coach David Pierce said. “We played a very good team. We just didn’t do some things that should be quality at the moment of truth when we needed to make plays or a quality at-bat when you got a guy that’s in scoring position.
“We had a great, big inning. We needed to build off that and tack on, but at the same time we made a couple of great defensive plays. We’ve got to get better at attacking the strike zone with everybody that went out.”
Valentine, a UTSA transfer that sat out last season, went 1-for-4 with two RBIs. He’s hitting .257 and is tied for the team lead with five home runs.
Texas got on the board first with an RBI single from shortstop Masen Hibbeler, scoring Austin Todd with two outs in the top of the first inning. The Bobcats evened the score in the bottom of the inning on a groundout by John Wuthrich that scored Jaylen Hubbard.
With the game tied 1-1 in the bottom of the third, Texas lifted starting pitcher Kolby Kubichek for Matt Whelan. Kubichek, who was on a pitch count, threw 40 pitches over two inning, allowing one hit and one run with three walks.
In all, both teams combined for 15 pitching changes.
The Longhorns robbed the Bobcats of back-to-back home runs with over-the-wall catches in the third. Freshman Eric Kennedy got the first one, taking away a homer to left-center from Wuthrich; Todd was next, snagging a high-flying shot from Travon Benton to right field.
“I don’t know if I’ve seen back-to-back like that, but both of them had great plays on it,” Pierce said. “I thought (Reynolds) also made a great play at third, sliding in with a guy in scoring position. It’s not like we gave them the ball game. They earned it in the ninth inning.”
The Bobcats did knock back-to-back homers in the fifth, however, to take a 3-1 lead. Hollis hit the first one, a shot to left-center that bounced off the glove of Kennedy, and Wuthrich hit the second one over the right field fence.
Texas responded with five runs in the seventh, four coming off a grand slam from junior third baseman Ryan Reynolds, giving the Longhorns the 6-3 lead.