KTSW Blog Statement

KTSW 89.9 FM is a student-operated radio station serving the Texas State University, San Marcos, San Antonio and Austin, Texas region.

KTSW Sports broadcasts Bobcat football, men's and women's basketball, baseball, softball and volleyball, and our blog is dedicated to providing the clearest look at all Bobcat sports and the achievements of Texas State student-athletes.

Listen Live!

Listen to KTSW live at our homepage
- www.KTSW.net -
And also on the Texas State Athletics website
- www.TxStateBobcats.com -

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Just "Short": Opening Day Gem
Ends With 13-Inning Gaffe

Texas State baseball (No. 35, Collegiate Baseball Newspaper national poll) waited a day to play its 2012 season opener after rain postponed the game originally scheduled for Friday, and then waited 13 innings to drop a 5-4 decision to the Santa Clara University Broncos on Saturday. Starting pitcher Colton Turner went 7.2 innings, giving up three runs, but only one earned, as the Bobcat defense committed three errors behind him. Freshman shortstop Garrett Mattlage dropped a ground ball up the middle with the bases loaded in the top of the 13th inning to allow the go-ahead run to score.

The Bronco offense started slowly as Turner recorded the first two outs of the game easily, but Santa Clara's offense clicked enough to score twice with those two outs before the frame ended. Texas State’s own offense was not to be intimidated as it immediately responded in the bottom of the 1st with RBI knocks from senior outfielders Jeff McVaney and Cody Gambill. The ‘Cats would take the lead in the third inning on an RBI sacrifice fly from senior Joey Fuda, and later led 4-2 after left fielder Morgan Mickan lined a ball into the left field corner for an RBI. Mickan helped pace the offense with a 2-for-5 night that included a walk and an RBI, but also made two sprawling grabs to aid the defense. He later moved to center field after Fuda injured himself diving for a ball over his head, attempting to prevent the ball from rolling to the wall. Freshman Brooks Orton replaced Mickan in left.

Turner’s dominance on the mound shined brightly from the 3rd through the 8th innings, as he faced the minimum number of batters, only giving up three hits in that time after a rough first two innings. For those next six innings under Turner's reign, 13 of 16 Bronco hitters were denied reaching the base paths as the junior lefty settled in, with only two singles and a walk as blemishes. He retired batters in order in the 6th and 7th, picking off two runners to help his own cause. Battery mate Andrew Stumph backed him up by catching a runner stealing in the 5th inning as well. But after giving up a one-out single in the 8th, head coach Ty Harrington pulled the lefty in favor of junior right hander Garrett Sheperd, who failed to record an out as he allowed the tying run to reach and then score.

McVaney relieved Shepperd of his role and pitched 1.1 innings of scoreless ball, but ultimately after Mattlage's error in the 13th, senior righthander Dylan Adamek took the loss in four complete innings of work.

Texas State looked to take back control of the game in the 10th, 11th and 12th innings, having runners in scoring position each time, even with the bases loaded with no one out in the 11th, but the bottom of the lineup failed to produce. Senior Tyler Sibley stepped to the plate as the potential hero that inning, but grounded out to end the threat.

Mickan led off the 12th with a double, but was stranded there as the heart of the Bobcat order faltered again, including senior first baseman Ory Kalenkosky putting the cap on an 0-for-6 day. Kalenkosky was named a Louisville Slugger Pre-Season All-American this year after setting a Texas State single season record of 21 home runs in 2011.

Texas State baseball resumes Sunday for a 3:00 CST first pitch at Bobcat Field when the 'Cats face Witchita State (No. 37, Collegiate Baseball Newspaper) in game two of the CenturyLink Tournament. Game broadcasts can be heard live at 89.9 FM KTSW and www.TxStateBobcats.com/Radio, or www.ktsw.net.

Mason Robinson, KTSW Assistant Sports Director

Monday, June 6, 2011

One to Remember:
Texas State Baseball 2011 Year in Review

It’d be tough to out-do some of the teams in recent memory for the title of Best Baseball Team in Texas State History, but the 2011 squad made a strong case for doing just that.

Think about it. The Bobcat faithful followed a 30-game hit streak at one time. They witnessed a 13 strikeout game followed by a 14 strikeout game, both by the same All-American right hander in back-to-back starts. Then, an unknown junior transfer adjusted so quickly to Division I baseball, it was good enough to break the school’s single season home run record on his first go-around. And there were single-game performances out the whazoo, from the first three-homer performance by a Bobcat in 24 years, to 11-run come backs and walk-off homers in consecutive contests, to a head coach winning his four-hundredth career ball game with a team that cracked the Top 25 nationally, and ended the year with its third straight Southland Conference regular season title to go along with the university’s fourth Conference Tournament championship as well. (Will there even be room for this new hardware?)

So now that the offseason is upon us after a wild 4-3 loss to the University of Texas (45-16) in the NCAA Regional Tournament Sunday afternoon sent the Bobcats (41-23) home, we recap what was more than a great season.

The title of “Best Ever” in any arena can’t be given out whimsically. And at first glance, the idea deserves strict scrutiny as teams from recent memory come to mind, with names on championship teams like Paul Goldschmidt, Laurn Randell, David Wood and Thomas Field still ringing in one’s ears. And considering other record-setting seasons as well, such as a 1997 championship club that sent two players on to Major League stints (Scott Linebrink and Jeremy Fikac), and a powerhouse 2009 ball club that saw three players move to the minor leagues, it’s a tough act to follow. Yet the Bobcats have been under a microscope all season, and the output from a 2011 Texas State team that held on to first place in the Southland Conference standings for most of the year, all the way to an NCAA Regional appearance, makes an easy case for considering this squad as one of the best ever.

We could start with anyone, but let’s begin with Tyler Sibley. The junior second baseman gave fans a good feeling about the team from game one (even if they didn’t entirely realize it at the time) by building on a hit streak he started at the end of the previous season. “Sibs” as his teammates call him, totaled a program record 30 games with a hit, one of the nation’s longest streaks this year, topping the old mark by nine games before going 0-5 at the plate against No. 18 Arkansas (the streak ended six games shy of the conference record of 36). From that point on, Sibley hit safely in 27 of the final 36 games in which he played, including the postseason, picking up an SLC All-Tournament Team selection along the way.

That propelled the team to a hot start. With a 6-2 record out of the gate, including handing Baylor University its biggest home loss in two years, 12-3, the Bobcats began Southland Conference competition 7-0, and held on to first place for the majority of the season. The ‘Cats rattled off a season best seven-game win streak early on, and by season’s end, never lost games on consecutive days all year. Head coach Ty Harrington repeatedly praised the team for its resiliency and ability to bounce back with its tails up against a wall – however every hero eventually hits that wall at some point.

But still – that adds to the argument in favor of the strengths of this ball club – the Bobcats made losing efforts look good.

When No. 18 Rice came to town on Feb. 23, the Owls flew back to Houston as 11-10 winners, but not before Texas State made it interesting in the ninth. Thanks to a handful of bases loaded walks, all with two outs and down by six, Kyle Kubitza’s grand slam to center field gave fans at Bobcat Ballpark a reason to cheer, and folks were buzzing about the game later that week.

And that would be the story of games against ranked opponents all spring.

Harrington’s boys finished 2011 with a 1-8 record against ranked teams (1-10 including the postseason), and yet each of those games was very close: in all but one game, that being a 15-5 trouncing by Texas A&M, the Bobcats lost by merely two runs or fewer when battling ranked ball clubs. It goes to show what this squad can handle against a national spotlight, and if just one or two dying quails had found a hole, it might easily be a different story.

Amazing in itself is that when loosing games overall this year, the club didn’t give it up by much. In fact, aside from that ten-run loss to the Aggies, the ‘Cats’ second worst loss all season was by six runs, once to Central Arkansas and another time to Nicholls State. That is to say Texas State never fell very far behind, as 14 of its 23 losses were by two runs or fewer; only a handful of times did Texas State lose by three or four runs this season - they clearly didn't make winning a breeze on the other guys.

But woulda-shoulda-coulda’s were forgotten by the time the Houston Cougars came to town – and junior transfer Casey “Ory” Kalenkosky announced his presence with authority. Big-O capped an 11-run comeback over the Cougs Mar. 12 when he hit a three-run, no-doubter over the left center field wall to finish the massive walk-off win, his fifth homer of the season at that time. But Bobcat Nation didn’t know it was in for such a treat however, as he shocked his coaches and surprised his fans with a sooner-than-usual offensive adjustment in the transition from junior college to Division I baseball.

In the postseason, he sat tied for first on the single-season home runs list with 18 for a while before hitting a dramatic number 19 - the record breaker - which bolstered a momentum shift for the Bobcats in the Southland Conference Tournament, who used the spark to come back from a bleak situation and win the tournament crown. Kalenkosky stroked 21 long balls altogether in 2011, putting a stamp on the title of Single-Season Home Run King in his first year at Texas State. His offense was also the key that earned him Tournament MVP honors, as he won over quite a host of new fans along the way as well.

The individual moments that define this ball team as a whole only continue. Senior center fielder Bret Atwood ends his Bobcat career at the top of two important record book categories: he has the most hits in a Bobcat uniform with 259, and after two stolen bags in the NCAA Regional, his 49 career stolen bases is tops in program history. Between the jewelry and memories of his diving catch against Stephen F. Austin that made SportCenter’s Top Play, he’ll have to make room for an SLC All-Tournament Team plaque as well.

Junior righty Carson Smith managed to one-up himself, showing that his nod as Louisville Slugger Third Team All-American in 2010 wasn’t a fluke, walking away from 2011 as a Second Team All-American, taking his second straight Southland Conference Pitcher of the Year title with him. During the regular season in which he was named the Southland’s top Pitcher of the Week three times, Smith tossed some of the best games of his life, including a 13 strikeout game against McNeese State, which at the time set a new career high. Just a week later in his next start, he K’d 14 UTSA Roadrunners, tying the school record for strikeouts in a game. Louisville Slugger noticed again and named him its National Player of the Week. Oh, and it’s probably worth mentioning: he’s the new single-season strikeout man as well with 129 punch outs, set against Princeton on Saturday.

Kyle Kubitza set a career record for walks as a Bobcat, and ended his junior campaign in double digit homers with 10. In his first career start, Joseph Dvorsky shocked San Marcos, as normally a bullpen pitcher, he tossed a complete game, four-hit shut-out to win a the Tournament Championship game over SFA (talk about answering the call). And still on May 1, junior outfielder Jeff McVaney (who has foregone the gridiron as “The Next Tim Tebow” to play baseball exclusively) hit three long balls in one game for the first time since, well… he wasn’t even born yet. But at the helm of it all was Harrington, who led the team to it’s third straight regular season championship, and first SLC Tournament title since his first year in 2000. Moving on to the national scene, “T-Y” as some friends call him, got his squad its first win in an NCAA Regional since that same year, a 3-1 win over Princeton on Saturday. Garnering his four-hundredth career win April 23, his always-modest approach was apparent as he wondered in shock why he was receiving a Gatorade bath after just another ball game. But leaving this year with a second Coach of the Year award, Harrington now has 416 wins under his belt, and will spend the offseason ready to build on still more success, as a potential eight players will return as seniors in 2012.

So what are the criteria for Best Team in This-or-That? Is it wins? This year tied a career high for Harrington with 41 overall W’s. Is it record-setting? This team had five different pitchers move into the top 10 in various all-time categories, with four hitters doing the same offensively (McVaney being one to double dip into both categories, as an outfielder and bullpen guy). Or is it raw ability? Texas State has been, more or less, one of the top three teams in the conference in many offensive categories year in, year out, with some of the best quality starting pitching as well. But that still doesn’t out-do other Texas State teams…

But a two-fold, regular season and Conference Tournament championship season does, set up by the school's longest, nationally recognized hit streak and a record-setting home run campaign. A scrappy outfielder became a celebrity for a day and cemented a legacy as a singles machine – while becoming quite the kleptomaniac on the bases as well. An All-American right handed hurler, who was deemed to have an "obvious future in professional baseball" by his head coach, made obvious that his Big League arm would carry the starting rotation, in front of the 2011 Coach of the Year, who spurred this ball team to the rest of those various records, including a milestone career win for himself.

That's a mouthful. That's a record-book-full. So was this the best Bobcat baseball team ever? Was it simply one of the best seasons in Texas State history? If it's anything, it’s certainly up for a vote.

Either way, 2011 was a pleasure to watch – and certainly one to remember.

Mason Robinson, KTSW Assistant Sports Director

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Baseball Bounces Lions to Take Series,
Stay in First

The art of recovery is a trait most quality teams share, and on Sunday, Texas State baseball showed that they have the right stuff. Twice bouncing back after falling behind, the Bobcats (23-12; 13-5 SLC) were able to tame the Southeastern Louisiana Lions (24-13; 10-8 SLC) and come out on top with a 7-5 win.

After starting pitcher Colton Turner gave up a run in the top of the first, junior third baseman Kyle Kubitza quickly erased the deficit with a two run bomb in the bottom of the inning that clanked off the right field scoreboard to take the lead, 2-1. Turner settled down and only give up a total of two earned runs over his four total innings pitched, before senior right hander Fielding Pittman came on in relief.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Bobcats found themselves trailing once more, this time 5-4, after sloppy defense in the top half of the inning put them in a rut. Junior first baseman Casey Kalenkosky didn't mind though, as he sent a long fly ball over the left field wall, plating two more Bobcat runs, and a lead they would not relinquish.

Holding a two run lead in the seventh inning, head coach Ty Harrington called his multi-talented upper-classman, junior Jeff McVaney, in from his left field position and onto the bump. McVaney didn't disappoint as he pitched the final 2 2/3 innings while holding the Lions scoreless to preserve the Texas State victory.

With the win, the Bobcats stay tied atop the Southland Conference with the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks. You can catch the game tomorrow against Texas Tech on 89.9 FM or ktsw.net.

Aaron Alaniz, KTSW Sports

Just in Time – Pitts Hurls First Career Complete Game

Junior righthander Mitchell Pitts came through when his Bobcats needed him most, tossing a complete game, three-hit shutout against Southeastern Louisiana in a 4-0 Saturday afternoon win.

Pitts was nearly flawless as he struck out only four, but didn’t allow a hit after the fourth inning while the Bobcat bats picked him up following a sluggish series opener, an 8-5 loss the night before.

Junior first baseman Ory Kalenkosky paced the offense with a 3-for-4 day at the plate, including an RBI and two runs scored. Junior third baseman Kyle Kubitza was 2-for-4 and started the offense moving when he laced a one out triple to the wall in the bottom of the first, coming home on a sac fly. Kalenkosky stretched the lead to 2-0 after he tagged his league-leading thirteenth home run over the left field wall in the next inning, a solo shot that brought the crowd to its feet immediately.

The fifth inning started with a single from senior centerfielder Bret Atwood, and sophomore catcher Andrew Stumph drove in his second run with a ground ball up the middle. Junior shortstop Isaac Nuti ended the scoring on a sacrifice fly as well, capping the 4-0 win.

As a testament to Pitts' dominance, the only Lions to record hits were the powerful trio of Brock Hebert (1-for-3), Justin Boudreaux (1-for-4) and Jeff Harkensee (1-for-4), the top three hitters in the Lions’ lineup. Pinch hitter Joe Sparacino drew a walk late in the game to be the only other SLU base runner. Other than that, Pitts' three-hit shutout gem was enough to keep the Bobcats in a first place tie with Stephen F. Austin in the Southland Standings at 12-5.

Texas State plays again tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. in the rubber game. Colton Turner will start for the Bobcats, and Josh Janway goes for the Lions, with live game coverage on 89.9 FM KTSW, and ktsw.net

Mason Robinson, KTSW Assistant Sports Director

Baseball Continues Southland Slide,
Suffers First Friday Loss

After a mid-week, extra inning victory over Houston Baptist, the Texas State Bobcats remained at home to continue Southland Conference play for a pivotal series against the Southeastern Louisiana Lions. Southeastern came into town two games behind the Bobcats in the Southland Conference standings, and three spots behind in the Mid-Major Polls.

Before the first pitch on Friday, Carson Smith had not lost a start since his first on Feb. 23 (against Rice) and the Bobcats were 8-0 on Friday games in 2011. That all changed Friday night as the Bobcats were simply outplayed and overpowered 8-5, and in the process dropped, to 21-11 (11-5 SLC).

Runners left on base and the inability to hit with two outs was the Achilles heel for the most part for Texas State, as Lions starter Brandon Efferson got the win, only giving up one earned run through 6 1/3 innings, despite issuing six walks.

Both starters began on cruise control, as no runs were scored for either team through the first three innings. That abruptly changed in the fourth and fifth innings as the Lions got on the board with a run in the fourth and two in the fifth, sparked by an RBI double by clean up hitter Jonathon Pace, putting the Lions up 3-0. The Cats' finally got on the board in the sixth with an RBI single up the middle from sophomore catcher Andrew Stumph (with two outs), for a 3-1 game.

The game turned a bit sloppy in the top of the eighth, as the Lions first six batters reached on three singles, a throwing error, and two walks. They would put up a five spot, notching their lead to 8-1 and eventually putting the game out of reach. The Bobcats retaliated with a four-run frame of their own in the bottom of the inning, sparked by four straight singles, but Lion's closer Stefen Lopez came in with the bases loaded and retired two straight to end the threat for his eighth save of the season.

Carson Smith was credited with the loss, falling to (5-2) despite pitching well on Fridays this year. Smith went seven innings, with four strikeouts and three earned runs. Junior left fielder Jeff McVaney and Stumph each collected three hits and an RBI, but the Bobcats combined for eleven runners left on base, with more errors than the opposition for the fourth time in the last five games. The "E" column has been filling up lately, which is certainly uncharacteristic for Coach Harrington and his Bobcats.

Nonetheless, the Bobcats still find themselves atop the standings in the SLC (tied with SFA) and still a game up on SLU. Look for the Bobcats to come out with some extra incentive and a little fire in their eyes for the rest of the series, as Coach Harrington continues to climb toward his incredible milestone of 400 career wins. Game 2 is tomorrow at 2:00 p.m., as Mitchell Pitts and the Bobcats aim to give Lion starter Tyler Watkins (6-0) his first loss of the 2011 season.

Weston Warner, KTSW Sports

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Baseball Wins in Extras Over Huskies

It took 13 innings and five different pitchers to beat the Houston Baptist Huskies 3-2 on Tuesday. The Huskies came into Bobcat Field on a four game winning streak, and the Bobcats had dropped four of their last five.

The game started with Sophomore Travis Ballew getting his first career start at home, and was able to chew up three innings, allowing only two hits and one earned run. That run came in the third inning when second basemen David Pfuntner was hit by a pitch and then moved to second on a sac bunt. Designated hitter Robbie Buller then singled to move Pfunter to third, and came home on a fielder’s choice ground out.

Junior third baseman Kyle Kubitza helped Texas State respond with a line drive home run to right field, and the Bobcats then took the lead in the bottom of the fifth thanks to an RBI single by freshman shortstop Christian Gallegos.

The Huskies came back in the eighth with what could very well be the longest home run in the history of the young Bobcat Field when Buller smashed a solo homer over the left field wall. For perspective, the ball sailed over the softball field score board and landed past the softball field's centerfield wall.

The game fell silent until the thirteenth inning when Bret Atwood singled to lead it off. Atwood stole third and was able to come home on a wild throw to that third basemen Tanner Kalina couldn't glove.

As a team, the Bobcats recorded 18 strikeouts by five different pitchers in a three hour and twenty minute marathon. The Bobcats now improve to 14–0 all time against Houston Baptist, and move on to play this weekend in a three game set against Southeastern Louisiana. Catch all of those games on 89.9 FM KTSW or ktsw.net.

Sam Howell, KTSW Sports

Monday, April 11, 2011

Bobcat Bats Stay Hot Against Central Arkansas;
Sweep Double Header

The move by Texas State softball head coach Ricci Woddard to make sophomore Anne-Marie Taylor the new ace of the pitching staff instead of two-time Southland Conference pitcher of the year Chandler Hall was a bit controversial at the time, but has paid off tremendously. The Bobcats swept a Saturday double header against the University of Central Arkansas with an 11-0 win and a 4-2 victory.

Since taking over the new role as the starting pitcher in Game One of Saturday's double header, and getting the start on Sunday, Taylor seems to have really taken to the new role. She pitched all five innings Saturday's run-rule-shortened contest, allowing no earned runs, two hits, and two strike outs.

On offense, sophomore second baseman Anna Hernandez was a star with three hits in three plate appearances with two RBI, and senior third baseman Jenna Emery led the team with three RBI.

Central Arkansas came into San Marcos with a lot of talent on offense and in the circle. Sophomore hurler Kelsie Armstrong started Game One for UCA and didn’t last more than an inning after allowing five earned runs in the first inning.

Armstrong leads the Southland Conference in strikeouts and was able to notch two strikeouts in the first two at bats, but with two outs, she walked Haley Lemons, hit McKenzie Baack with a pitch, and from there things started to unravel. Five runs had scored and the Bobcats batted around before another out was recorded. Armstrong got junior Chandler Hall to fly out in her second at bat of the inning to end the threat.

Junior Kelley Martino replaced Armstrong in the second inning and only got one out while giving up four more runs to bring the Bobcat lead to 9-0.

Junior Katie McGregor relieved Martino and stopped the bleeding for the Sugar Bears, allowing only two more runs over the remaining innings.

* * * *

Game Two was a much closer affair as the Bobcats won 4-2. Hall was the starter and was nearly as flawless as Taylor from Game One. She allowed only one earned run over six innings, striking out five.

Senior designated player McKenzine Baack led Texas State on offense, continuing her hot streak at the plate by hitting her third home run of the season, a two run shot that ties her for seventh place all-time at Texas State.

The story of the game, and of the weekend for Texas State, was silencing Central Arkansas’ dangerous catcher Melanie Bryant at the plate. Bryant led the SLC in batting average, hits, and RBI coming into the game, but in the two games, Bryant went hitless in her five plate appearances.

The two wins moved Texas State’s overall record above .500 to 20-18 overall and 13-7 in conference play. The 'Cats are firmly in third place in the Southland Conference with nine conference games remaining.

Fletcher Rutland, KTSW Sports

KTSW Sports Staff

KTSW Sports Staff