HUNTSVILLE – Houston Baptist’s Zach Carter threw a complete game and led the Huskies to a 5-1 win over the Sam Houston State Bearkats in the series opener on Friday night at Don Sanders Stadium.
The Bearkats (33-17, 19-6 SLC) could not get anything going throughout the night, hitting into three double plays and finishing with just four hits against the HBU (23-26, 15-10 SLC) starter who evened his record at 4-4 on the year.
Andrew Fregia had a pair of hits, including the 200th of his career, but HBU took the lead on a Grant Buck homer in the third inning and Carter made it stand up with six strikeouts on the night. Sam Houston starter Nick Mikolajchak pitched well with seven strikeouts in six innings, but allowed three runs on seven hits to fall to 6-5 on the year.
Sam Houston will try to even the series and move a step closer to the sixth league title in program history in the middle game of the series on Saturday afternoon. First pitch is set for 3:00 p.m. with Seth Ballew scheduled to get the call against fellow lefty Matthew McCollough.
The Kats got on the board first in the opening frame with consecutive two-out doubles by Fregia and Blake Chisolm off of Carter, but the Huskies answered with a Tyler Depreta-Johnson RBI single an inning later to knot it back up.
HBU then took the lead in the third when Buck launched his second home run of the season, a two-run shot with two outs in the inning to put the Huskies ahead 3-1. Carter would then not allow another base runner until a single by Trey Ochoa in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Kats had a chance to get back on the board that inning as Fregia followed with a walk, but Chisolm followed by hitting into the first of three double plays in the final four innings to end the rally.
Gabriel Sequeira came on in the seventh to work out of a jam, getting a double-play ball of his own to aid his cause, but surrendered a leadoff homer to Jake Pulcheon an inning later before giving up an RBI single to Spencer Halloran in the ninth to wrap up the night’s scoring.