HUNTSVILLE – Sam Houston State pounded out a season-high 15 hits including a pair of home runs, drubbing Bradley, 14-7, in the first of two games on Saturday at Don Sanders Stadium.
The game, which was delayed by 55 minutes due to heavy rain, saw seven Sam Houston players log multi-hit performances including the second home runs of the season for both Andrew Fregia and Blake Chisolm.
Bryce Johnson added three hits in the leadoff spot, reaching four times, while Sam Houston scored in five different innings including a four-run third and five-run sixth.
The win was the fifth straight for the Bearkats, while sophomore reliever Jordan Cannon (1-0) secured his first victory of the season. The right-hander tossed 1 2-3 innings, permitting one hit and a pair of walks.
Bradley starter Ben Olson (1-1) was tagged for eight hits and seven runs (five earned) while walking five and striking out three. The teams were deadlocked at 6-6 through the first four innings before the Kats outscored Bradley, 8-1 the remainder of the afternoon.
The squads close out the three-game set at 3:45 p.m. Sam Houston will send right-handed freshman Hayden Wesneski (2-0, 4.22 ERA) to the mound in search of the team’s first sweep of the season. The game can be heard online at GoBearkats.com.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The squads exchanged runs in the first inning as Sam Houston answered a two-run home run from Ian Kristan, plating one on a Lance Miles sacrifice bunt, resulting in a two-base error, before Andrew Fregia recorded an RBI groundout.
After both teams went down 1-2-3 in the second, the scoring continued in the third. Kristan added his third RBI, coming on a single up the middle of Sam Houston reliever Kyle Backhus, who entered to begin the second.
The Kats produced their second four-run frame of the season in the bottom half. Bryce Johnson led off with a triple into right field, coming home to score on a Mac Odom sacrifice fly to tie the game at three. Lance Miles followed with a double and swiped second before Andrew Fregia deposited his second home run of the season beyond the left-field wall for a 5-3 lead.
Blake Chisolm drew his fifth walk of the season and scored courtesy of back-to-back singles from Hunter Hearn and Taylor Beene.
The Bearkats’ three-run lead soon disappeared as Bradley belted a pair of home runs in the fourth including a leadoff shot from Derek Bangert and two-run bomb from Andrew Ivelia to tie the game at 6-6.
Bradley loaded the bases as reliever Jordan Cannon walked his first batter but the right-hander induced a flyout to shallow center from Kristan. The Braves challenged the arm of center fielder Bryce Johnson, who gunned down the runner for the double play.
In the fifth, Sam Houston jumped ahead on Bradley’s second error. The Bearkats loaded the bases on a one-out single from Rojas and consecutive walks to Hearn and Beene. With two down, Johnson hit a chopper to third that could not be fielded in the wet conditions, scoring Rojas to give the Kats a 7-6 lead.
One inning later, Chisolm provided Sam Houston some cushion, drilling the fifth pitch he saw over the left-field wall for his second home run in five days. The two-run homer pushed the Sam Houston lead to 9-6.
The Kats sent all nine hitters to hit in the frame as Clayton Harp tacked on two more, drilling a ground-rule double into right center, possibly saving an inside-the-park home run, and Bryce Johnson singled into right field, giving Sam Houston a 12-6 edge.
After a 55-minute rain delay, midway through the seventh, Sam Houston picked up where it left off. Miles doubled to right center and Fregia followed with a single, his third hit of the game, and Chisolm lined a sacrifice fly to center.
Rojas singled into center field, plating the 14th run of the game as Fregia came home from second.