March 3, 2012
SAN MARCOS, Texas – Texas State junior RHP Travis Ballew tossed a three-hit shutout to lead the Broncos to a 6-0 victory over Notre Dame Saturday night in front of 2,181 at Bobcat Ballpark (fourth-largest crowd in Texas State history). The Bobcats improved to 7-3 on the season, while the Irish dropped to 5-3.
Ballew improved to 3-0 on the year with a dominating effort. The righty punched out a career-best 11 and faced just three batters over the minimum. Ballew yielded just only singles and retired 15 consecutive Notre Dame hitters over one stretch.
Texas State has now registered four consecutive shutouts against Houston, TCU and Notre Dame (twice) – a first in school history. The Bobcats’ pitching staff has not allowed a run, earned or unearned, in 41.1 innings. Texas State has not allowed an earned run in six straight games – a span of 44.1 innings of work.
Senior RHP Will Hudgins was charged with the loss and dropped to 1-1 on the year. He allowed one earned run over 6.0 innings of work on five hits and collected a career-high seven strikeouts. Hudgins was victimized by a crucial error that led to four unearned runs in the Bobcats four-run fifth inning.
Hudgins and Ballew were matched up in a pitcher’s duel over the first few innings. Notre Dame collected the game’s first hit in the top of the third off the bat of freshman LF Conor Biggio.
Hudgins kept the Bobcats out of the hit column over the first three innings. He fanned six of the first nine batters he faced, but allowed a leadoff double to Brooks Orton in the bottom of the fourth inning, who then scampered to third base when freshman CF Mac Hudgins’ throw from centerfield evaded the cutoff man.
Kalenkosky made it 1-0 with an RBI ground out one batter later.
The Bobcats took advantage of another crucial Notre Dame error in the bottom of the fifth inning. With Texas State leading 1-0, Mac Hudgins made his second error of the game – dropping a fly ball to open the inning – allowing the runner to reach second base. Will Hudgins did manage to retire the next two Bobcats, but Texas State used a two-out walk and four straight RBI singles to push the lead to 5-0. All four of the runs in the frame were unearned.
The Bobcats added another unearned run in the bottom of the eighth, which proved to be more than enough for Ballew.
Orton had two of Texas State’s five hits. He also chipped in with two RBI. Casey Kalenkosky added two RBI as well.
Notre Dame and Texas State are scheduled to play game three of the weekend series at Noon CT on Sunday. Junior RHP Adam Norton will take the mound for the Irish.
— ND —