Notebook: Texas State 10, UT-Arlington 2

Sports Editor

What the win means: The Texas State baseball team earns a day off before the semifinals of the Sun Belt Conference tournament. 

How the Bobcats won: Not letting the foot off the gas. Texas State scored the first five runs of the game, but they were not content with that cushion. UT-Arlington scored in the fourth and fifth innings, but Scott Grist, senior pitcher, minimized the damage to one run in each inning. The Bobcats added five runs in the final three innings to close the victory. They left little doubt in the minds of the UT-Arlington Mavericks. The victory was theirs for the taking. 

Turning point: Seventh inning. UT-Arlington closed within three runs, a manageable deficit with three innings remaining. David Paiz, senior first baseman, hit a home run to deep center field and suddenly the gap was six runs. With seven runners left on base, The Mavericks could never muster up enough offense to climb back into the game.

Spotlight player: Paiz. In two tournament games, Paiz is hitting .625, with 11 runs batted in, three runs scored and two home runs. Paiz's triple opened the scoring and his three-run home run in the seventh inning stretched the Bobcats' lead from three to six runs. 

Offensive spark: Texas State's offense, second-to-last in the conference in batting average, has elevated its play in the last two weeks. The Bobcats are averaging 9.4 runs per game in the last eight games, including a 22-run outburst against the Mavericks. Thursday's 10-2 victory was an exercise in balance, with five different players driving in runs for the team and four Bobcats reaching the two-hit threshold. 

Grist continues dominance: Grist finished his regular season with two complete games. He picked up where he left off in the conference tournament, recording his second consecutive complete championship game. Grist allowed 10 hits and two earned runs, while throwing 116 pitches in nine innings. Grist's efficient performace provides the bullpen with an extra day of rest heading into a semfinals matchup. 

What's next: Texas State will play the winner of Louisiana-Lafayette and UT-Arlington Saturday at 12:30 p.m. A win advances the Bobcats to the conference tournament championship.

Follow Quixem Ramirez on Twitter at @quixem