HOUSTON – Houston Baptist jumped on Sam Houston State early and the Bearkats had no answer, dropping the series with a 9-1 loss at Husky Field on Saturday afternoon.
Sam Houston plated a run seven pitches into the game only to be outscored by nine the rest of the way in route to the squad's fifth-straight middle-game defeat in Southland Conference play.
Bearkat pitching plunked a season-high five batters, allowing 12 hits and received minimal support from a defense that committed three errors and offense that was held to four hits one day after stranding 12 in a 14-inning, one-run loss.
Starter Kyle Backhus was saddled with the loss, lasting just 1 1-3 innings while allowing five hits and six runs. Jordan Cannon came in and cleaned up, using 56 pitches to hold the Huskies off the board in 3 2-3 innings while scattering three hits.
HBU starter Christian Thames, who was one of 10 seniors honored prior to the game, tossed his third complete game of the season, fanning four without allowing a walk. The left-hander held Sam Houston to four hits, its fewest since producing three on March 12 against Lamar.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Sam Houston manufactured its way to an early, but brief lead, as Bryce Johnson, batting in the three-hole for the second time this season, sent an RBI single up the middle for the 1-0 lead. The base knock plated Andrew Fregia, who reached on a hit by pitch before advancing to third on a sac bunt and passed ball.
HBU taxed Backhus for 29 pitches, plating four runs on three hits while sending all nine hitters to the plate in the bottom half. The right-hander induced a pop out with two down and the Huskies already leading 2-1 but a hit by pitch, the second of the inning, loaded the bases for Joe Van Marter who drove a two-run single into right field for the 4-1 advantage.
The Huskies chased Backhus from the game in the second as Brandon Brintz laced a one-out, stand-up triple into right for his first three-bagger of the season. Spencer Halloran followed, shooting his second pitch into left for a run-scoring single and 5-1, Huskies lead.
With Cannon on, HBU tacked on another as Andrew Zillweger shot a single up the middle, plating Halloran, who was able to advance to second on his single after the ball slipped by Josh Biles in left field. The hit was the sixth by as many Huskies' hitters.
Cannon set down six of the next seven HBU hitters and stranded another in the fifth but the Huskies were able to put another across in the sixth. After a leadoff single from Zane Otten, new reliever Gabriel Sequeira recorded two quick outs, with some help on a caught stealing from Robie Rojas, but HBU drilled consecutive doubles including a run-scoring two-bagger from Pulcheon for a 7-1 lead.
The Huskies tacked on two more in the eighth as Tyler Depreta-Johnson lined a single through the left side for the seven-run advantage. In total, seven of the nine starters for the Huskies totaled at least one hit while five recorded an RBI.
Sam Houston looks to salvage the series finale, closing out the final road series of the season with a 1 p.m. tilt against the Huskies. The Bearkats will send Hayden Wesneski (8-2, 3.67 ERA) to the mound in hopes that the freshman will serve as a stopper.
Head coach Matt Deggs on the middle game loss to the Huskies..
“We did not play well at all and HBU played extremely well. When that combination meets each other, it's not going to be a pretty ballgame. That's what you saw. It was an extremely long, tough day for us. We'll continue to work to get better. You're never as bad as people say you are and you're never as good as you say you are. You're somewhere in between. If you play enough of these games, you end up with games like this. I would expect a much better performance out of us tomorrow. Tip your caps to HBU, they played great.”
Head coach Matt Deggs on the relief performance from Jordan Cannon…
“He had a good performance. That was good to see. I thought Gabe threw the ball well which was good to see. The damage was done by that point. We weren't able to get anything going offensively.”