HUNTSVILLE – The Sam Houston State Bearkats ran their early-season win streak to six in a row on Tuesday, scoring five early runs to cruise to a 9-1 win over Wright State at Don Sanders Stadium.
Andrew Fregia had three hits and drove in four, while Trey Ochoa had a pair of hits and a pair of RBI to lead the Bearkat (6-1) offense and five pitchers got in on the action as Sam Houston scored five runs in the second inning and never looked back.
Wright State (2-5) was only able to muster one run in the eighth inning off of the Bearkat staff on five hits, while Sam Houston made the most of its seven hits and drew seven walks to aid its cause.
Kyle Backhus struck out four in 2.2 innings in his first start of the year, but it was Dominic Robinson who picked up his first win of the season with 3.0 scoreless innings of relief that included a punchout and no runs allowed. Landon Ausley and Brad Demco would also strike out one each in their season debuts while Colin Cameron would pitch a perfect ninth to close it out.
Daniel Kreuzer was the losing pitcher for Wright State, allowing five runs in 4.0 innings of his first start of the year.
Fregia would have one of two Bearkat homers, a three-run shot in the sixth that blew the game open, while Chase Cryer belted his first long ball of the year to open the scoring in the second.
Sam Houston will close out its midweek set with Wright State on Wednesday at The Don with a 6:30 p.m. first pitch. They will then head to Minute Maid Park for three games against No. 12 Vanderbilt, No. 7 Kentucky and No. 21 Mississippi State.
The Kats left a pair stranded in the home half of the first, but did not waste an opportunity in the second. Chase Cryer led things off with a line-drive homer to left field and Kreuzer proceeded to walk the next three hitters he saw. Darien Simms got one home with an RBI grounder before Trey Ochoa broke it open by splitting the gap in left-center field for a two-run double to make it 4-0. Andrew Fregia would then bring him home to make it 5-0 one batter later with a sure single into right.
Sam Houston would add another run in the fifth and then blow things wide open an inning later in the sixth. A hit batter and a Raider error quickly put a pair of runners on base with nobody out, but the Kats were not able to get anyone home until Fregia stepped to the plate with two away. The junior fell behind 0-2 to pitcher Jorge Lozano before blasting the third pitch out to left field for his second homer of the year, a three-run shot that pushed the lead to 9-0.
Coach Deggs opening thoughts …
“I thought it was a very well played game. We had 18 position players in the game and we had five pitchers in the game where we did an excellent job on the mound battling and setting the tone early. I thought we found a way to reach base and played good defense. This team is capable of important things if we stick together and play together and that is what you have seen so far. Wright State is a good team, but the score tonight did not show how good this team is. They have a good program and are good coaching plus they also have good position players. We had a couple runs and a big homerun early. Anytime we score early we get to let some guys come and get their feet wet. I thought Kyle Backhus came in started the tone and it was good to get Dominic Robinson out there after he had a few rough outings. I was really pleased with the pitching tonight.”
Andrew Fregia on his home run …
“Anytime we get on the board early it is good to go and gives our pitchers space to breath. It gave us time to get some new guys in the game and give them some experience. Trey Ochoa and I were just hunting fast balls and staying on his fast ball and trying to bang the ball around. I saw the scouting report and saw that his out pitch was a curve ball, and I got one and swung on it.”
Trey Ochoa on having a good night at the plate …
“Honestly, it was the guys before us that got on base and we were able to get up and drive in runs for the team. It is always nice to score early to give the pitchers some breathing room. It is always nice for us transfers guys to get in there and set a role for the younger guys.”