HUNTSVILLE- The Sam Houston State Bearkats overcame a one hour and 14-minute lightning delay and finished with four multi-run innings to complete a three-game sweep over Cincinnati with a 10-6 win on Saturday at Don Sanders Stadium.
Sam Houston (5-1) took the lead two different times with four innings in which they scored two or more runs, negating Cincinnati’s (2-4) three-run lead in the fourth and one-run lead in the eighth. Jordan Cannon finished with three hits and three runs scored to lead a Sam Houston offense that pounded out 16 hits against five Bearcat pitchers on the day.
Five Kats would finish with multi-hit games and nine different players would have an RBI, while the pitching trio of Hayden Wesneski, Colin Cameron and Riley Cooper handled the load on the bump. Wesneski struck out six in 5.2 innings before giving way to Cameron who was the winning pitcher after retiring the only two hitters he faced. Cooper would then enter to get the final eight outs, earning the save in what was his first appearance of the year.
Sam Houston touched up Cincinnati starter Cam Alldred for five runs in just 3.2 frames, but it was reliever Nathan Kroger who took the loss with two runs allowed in 2.1 innings of work. Connor McVey and Treg Haverkorn would each have three hits apiece to lead the Cincinnati offense.
The Kats are next scheduled for a midweek two-game series against Wright State starting on Tuesday, followed up by another game Wednesday. First pitch of each game is set for 6:30 p.m. at Don Sanders Stadium.
Wesneski threw just one pitch before the game went into what would be a 1-hour, 14-minute weather delay and the Bearkat starter would have little issues with Cincinnati in the first two frames. The Kats’ offense then managed to break through first in the home half of the second inning. Behind three hits the Bearkats scratched across two runs to ignite the scoring in the bottom of the inning. Hunter Hearn, who now has 11 hits in Sam’s first six games, led off with single into left field before Ben Haefner was hit by a pitch. That set up an RBI single by Josh Biles into left field. Cannon finished the scoring with one of his own RBI single into the right field handing the Kats a 2-0 lead.
Cincinnati responded in a big way an inning later, finally getting to Wesneski. With a runner on third and one out, Manny Rodriguez took the first pitch and blasted it over the centerfield wall at Don Sanders Stadium and one batter later McVey launched one out to left with the back-to-back homers giving the Bearcats a 3-2 lead.
Alldred shut down Sam Houston in the bottom of the third with only allowing a single hit. Then, in the top of the fourth, the Bearcats added to their lead with a walk and three straight singles scoring two runs with two RBI going to Haberkorn and Mason DeAnna to push the lead to 5-2.
The lead would not last for long as Sam Houston were able to use a pair of two-out hits to score three, tying it at 5-5. A single from Biles and a double to center from Cannon to set up a Riley McKnight RBI ground out. Cross Austin then stepped in to deliver a pinch-hit single down the left line to score Cannon before Trey Ochoa doubled off the left-field wall to score pinch runner Mac Odom to knot it back up.
The back and forth game continued as UC took the lead again with back-to-back doubles to score one. The first came from Dondrae Bremner with one away and was followed by a smash down the line by Haverkorn that put the Bearcats back in front by a run.
But again the Bearkats responded in a big way, down 6-5, they were able to put through two runs to take the lead once again. A hit by pitch for Cannon and a stolen base put him in scoring position with no outs. Blake Chisolm got walked and made way for Odom who singled with a bunt to third base. The scoring started by a wild pitch which brought Cannon home and followed up by a Andrew Fregia sacrifice fly into center field.
Sam Houston went in search of insurance in the seventh and they got just that as they scored three runs on five hits with a Bearcat error. Chase Cryer founded himself on second from a double to right center and a Haefner single gave Jaxxon Grisham an RBI chance, one he took advantage with a line-drive RBI single to right. With one out, Chisolm got one home with an RBI ground out before Mac Odom capped it with an RBI bunt single down the third-base line.
QUOTABLES Coach Deggs about the team and the weekend …
“We have a lot of depth and we can play to the conditions, we can play to the pitcher, we play defense, we can bang, we can run. We survived their best punch and they hit us as hard as they could. We have a lot of depth and a lot of high-character kids, and as long as you don’t care who gets credit, you can do incredible things in this game.”