CORPUS CHRISTI – No. 22 Sam Houston State scored nine early runs and starting pitcher Gabriel Sequeira tossed six shutout innings as the Bearkats completed a three-game sweep of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi with a 9-0 win on Sunday afternoon at Chapman Field.
The Kats (16-4, 6-0 SLC) ran their win streak to nine in a row and moved to 7-0 in true road games this year with the win, completing its first-ever three-game sweep on the Islanders’ (12-8, 0-3 SLC) home field. They are the only team left unscathed in Southland Conference games through two weekends of league play.
The cushion came courtesy of a seven-run third inning with two more runs coming an inning later, which was more than enough for Sequeira and relievers Seth Ballew and Brad Demco who did not allow an Islander base hit after the fifth inning. Sequeira turned in his third outstanding start of the season, moving to 3-0 on the year with 6.0 strong frames. The sophomore struck out seven and walked just one, allowing four hits on 88 pitches.
Ballew would follow with a pair of strikeouts in 2.0 innings of scoreless relief in front of Demco who had a strikeout in the ninth with the only runner reaching base being via the second Bearkat error of the day.
Meanwhile, TAMUCC starter Jackson Owens kept the Kats off the board in the first two frames but then did not record an out in the third. He took the loss to fall to 2-1, allowing five runs on six hits with three strikeouts and a pair of walks as one of six arms the Islanders would run to the mound.
Sam Houston did not record a hit after the fourth inning, but the damage was already done after they got nine hits in the first four frames. Blake Chisolm hit safely twice in the seven-run first inning, including his second homer of the season to lead off the inning and open the scoring. Hunter Hearn hit safely in his first two at-bats and Chase Cryer had an RBI on two hits.
Josh Biles was the only Bearkat with multiple RBI, connecting on a two-run single to cap the third-inning scoring.
Sam Houston will next head to the state capital for a Tuesday date with the Texas Longhorns. First pitch from UFCU Disch-Faulk Field is set for 6:30 p.m. and will be aired on the Longhorn Network and the WatchESPN app.
The Kats threatened to get on the board early, despite Owens getting the first two hitters he saw on just seven pitches. An error off the bat of Andrew Fregia kept the inning going and the Kats loaded the bases on a single by Hearn and a walk to Clayton Harp. That brought up Cryer, but the Islander starter was able to register his second strikeout of the inning to keep Sam Houston off the board.
Sam Houston left one more on in the second, but then blew things open in the top of the third, tying its highest-scoring single inning of the year as 11 hitters would push across seven runs. Each of the first seven Bearkats would reach base safely in an inning that started off with a bang when Chisolm led things off with a solo home run on the first pitch he saw from Owens. Fregia followed with a double in front of three straight singles from Hearn, Harp and Cryer that scored two more runs and chased Owens from the game.
A walk to Ben Haefner by reliever Jesse Philip loaded the bases with no outs and one batter later Chris Cooper issued a four-pitch walk to Jordan Cannon to make it 4-0. Trey Ochoa pushed the lead to 5-0 one batter later with a grounder to short before Biles got in on the action, tugging a two-run single into left that scored both Cannon and Haefner.
Sam Houston added on a pair of runs an inning later, both with two outs and with some assistance from the Islanders. Cooper would retire each of the first two hitters of the inning, but Cryer then reached on an infield hit and Haefner walked to give the Kats a threat. Cannon then was hit by a 3-0 pitch, loading the bases for Ochoa. The Bearkat second baseman then chopped one to first base where Harrison Dinicola could not handle it, committing his second error of the game and allowing both Cryer and Haefner to score to make it a 9-0 game.
Coach Matt Deggs on the sweep of TAMUCC and the overall week …
“It was a really good week overall, winning four road games starting at Baylor who is a really good team. To go in there and get a big win really set the tone for the weekend. And really the name of the game all weekend was pitching. We got three good starts this weekend out of Wesneski and Gossett, then Gabe (Sequeira) just continued to do what he’s been doing. I thought it was good to get Seth (Ballew) back out there and get him back in the strike zone with a three-pitch mix, then Brad (Demco) got an opportunity too. He’s got a great arm and you saw that there in the last inning. We were able to break it open early and then they did a good job of getting back into the ballgame, running some nice arms out there. But we pitched it, defended it and came up with big hits all weekend. It was kind of the name of the game.”
Deggs on opening the season with wins in each of the team’s first seven road games …
“I’ve said it for three years, this group of boys just loves to play. They’ll play you in the parking lot, they’ll pay you on the road or at home. It doesn’t matter to them. They just like to compete and try to stay on top of the things that we can control and we are doing a really good job of that right now.”
Deggs on the upcoming week at Texas and at home vs Dallas Baptist …
“It’s a big week for us from an RPI standpoint. You get a good Texas team on the road and then a really well-coached and really good DBU team coming in for three. So we have to just keep moving one day, one step at a time. Stay humble, stay hungry and stay grinding. I’m really proud of our guys.”