Texas State’s Kyle Kubitza reached on a two-out error that scored the go-ahead run and Casey Kalenkosky followed with a two-run homer to fuel a five-run seventh inning and lift the top-seeded Bobcats to a 5-2 win over Southeastern Louisiana in an elimination game in the Southland Conference Tournament on Thursday at Bobcat Ballpark.
Carson Smith (9-3) pitched a complete game for Texas State (36-21), allowing four hits, striking out 10 and being aided by three double plays. Southeastern fell to 35-22 on the season and will wait to see if it receives an at-large berth in the NCAA Regionals.
Texas State, which will meet the loser of Nicholls State and Sam Houston State at noon on Friday, began its rally after Christian Gallegos was hit by a pitch with two outs by Southeastern starter Brandon Efferson (8-5). Tyler Sibley followed with a single to center field before Bret Atwood hit an RBI single through the right side to drive in Gallegos.
Kubitza, who went 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts, then lofted a fly ball down the left field line that was misplayed for an error and scored two unearned runs to give Texas State a 3-2 lead.
Kalenkosky, who finished 2-for-3, then hit the next pitch from Southeastern reliever Jason Greenleaf over the left-field fence for his 19th home run of the season for a 5-2 lead the Bobcats would not relinquish.
Southeastern took a 1-0 lead in the first inning as Justin Boudreaux drew a two-out walk, stole second and scored when Jeff Harkensee hit an RBI single to center field. The Lions manufactured a run in the fifth inning to take a 2-0 lead.
Brock Hebert led off the inning with an infield single before stealing second and advancing to third on a balk. After Britt Gautreaux drew a walk to put runners on the corners, Jacob Fisher reached on a sacrifice bunt with Hebert scoring under the tag of Texas State catcher Andrew Stumph.
Efferson tossed 6.2 innings for Southeastern, scattering six hits and allowing one earned run. The senior from Zachary fanned eight batters and walked one.
Boudreaux led Southeastern at the plate going 2-for-2.