AUSTIN – The No. 22 Sam Houston State Bearkats saw their nine-game win streak come to end on Tuesday night, falling to Texas, 3-2, at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.
Sam Houston (16-5) had at least one runner on base in seven of its nine trips to the plate, but fell victim to 13 strikeouts by Longhorn (13-9) pitching and were just 1-for-12 hitting with runners in scoring position, leaving 10 runners on base for the game. Meanwhile, Texas scored all three of its runs in the middle innings and made it stand up to run its own win streak to four in a row.
Nick Mikolajchak got his first career start and put up three straight zeros on the board before the Longhorns finally got to him for a pair of runs in the fourth. Despite an effective outing, he took the loss to fall to 2-3 on the year as the first of six Sam Houston arms to see the hill for the game.
Brad Demco got the Kats out of that fourth inning and pitched into the fifth before giving way to Landon Ausley who retired five of the six batters he faced with a pair of strikeouts in 1.2 innings of relief. Colin Cameron and Riley Cooper combined to get the Kats through the seventh while Seth Ballew struck out a pair of hitters in working out of an eighth-inning jam.
For Texas, Matteo Bocchi earned his first career victory with 1.1 innings of effective relief of starter Nicol O’Donnell who struck out four and allowed a run on three hits. But it was Bryce Elder who did most of the heavy lifting, punching out four and pitching 3.2 frames through the eighth. He then handed it over to the Longhorns’ Friday-night starter Nolan Kingham who tossed a perfect ninth for his second save of the season.
The Kats finished with just six hits on the night, including Chase Cryer reaching in three of his four plate appearances with a pair of singles and a walk. Jordan Cannon had a double in the eighth inning and Jaxxon Grisham reached twice on a pair of walks. Clayton Harp picked up a single and had an RBI walk in the third, while Trey Ochoa extended his on-base streak to 18 straight games with an RBI single in the eighth inning.
It will be a non-conference weekend for the Bearkats this weekend at The Don when the Bearkats play host to Dallas Baptist for three games. The first game of the series is set for 6:30 p.m. at Don Sanders Stadium while both Saturday and Sunday’s games will gets started at 1:00 p.m. Each of the series’ first two games are scheduled to be aired on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app.
Sam Houston left a pair of runners on base in both the first and second innings before finally getting on the board in the third against O’Donnell. Blake Chisolm reached to start the inning on the first Texas error of the night and two batters later Hunter Hearn singled to left field. O’Donnell then issued a walk to Cryer to load the bases and Harp followed with a walk of his own, pushing home Chisolm to put the Kats ahead 1-0.
After the Kats left another runner on base in the top of the fourth, Texas went to work to take its first lead of the game. Austin Todd and Ryan Reynolds opened the inning with consecutive doubles to tie it up just two batters into the inning, then after a strikeout and a nice defensive play by Ben Haefner on a squeeze attempt, Masen Hibbler lined a sure single into center field to plate Reynolds and give the Longhorns a 2-1 advantage.
Sam Houston left the tying run on third base in the top of the inning, and then the Longhorns tacked another run onto their tally in the bottom half. A single from Kody Clemens and a walk to Todd quickly had a pair of runners on base with one out, but the Kats had a chance to get out of it when Reynolds hit a grounder to Andrew Fregia at shortstop; however, after converting the first out on the play his throw to first base was off and allowed Clemens to come in and score on the error to push the lead to 3-1.
The Longhorn staff put up four straight zeros before the Bearkats were able to get on the board again, which they did in the eighth. Cryer lined his second single of the game back up the middle off of Elder to open the inning and two batters later Cannon blasted a double off the left-center field wall; however, the Horns handled the relay throw and got Cryer at the plate for a key second out. Still, Sam would not end the inning quietly. A wild pitch moved Cannon up 90 feet for Ochoa who lined an RBI single into right field to cut the lead to 3-2.