Texas State sent two pitchers to the mound Friday night who had something to prove.
Sophomore starter Taylor Black wanted to bounce back from an ugly start seven days earlier against Sacramento State. Junior reliever Hunter Lemke had to show he still had a solid grasp on his role as closer.
Black and Lemke were the only two pitchers to throw against Louisiana Tech — and for good reason. They combined to shut out the Bulldogs and senior catcher Andrew Stumph knocked in the lone run of a 1-0 win at Bobcat Ballpark.
Texas State snapped a five-game losing streak and improved to 6-4 in the Western Athletic Conference.
“This feels good,” Bobcat head coach Ty Harrington said. “No doubt about it.”
Black, who battled through some control problems (five walks), set the early tone for Texas State. Whenever the Bobcats needed Black to locate a big pitch, he did. Black escaped a jam in the second when he struck out Austin Hedges with a man on third and then induced a grounder by Ryan Gebhardt in the seventh that third baseman Colby Targun snared and fired to first for the third out of the inning.
“There was a stretch from the fourth to the sixth where Black was really good,” Harrington said. “That’s why he stuck with him.”
Lemke relieved Black with two outs in the eighth and after a walk, ended the inning with a strikeout. Then Lemke allowed a lead-off single in the ninth, but recorded three quick outs to pick up his fifth save.
“He really showed how gritty he could be,” Harrington said of Lemke.