SAN ANTONIO – The Sam Houston State Bearkats jumped all over UIW from the very first pitch and scored a season-high 16 runs in rolling to a 16-1 win to clinch the series on Friday afternoon at Sullivan Field.
Blake Chisolm blasted a solo home run on the very first pitch of the game and the Kats (37-18, 23-6 SLC) plated three runs in the inning and never looked back behind a record day by Andrew Fregia and the Bearkat offense. The win clinched the series in favor of Sam Houston, their ninth series win in Southland Conference play this year.
Seth Ballew got the start and was strong in 5.0 shutout innings to move to 6-1 on the year with the win. He allowed just four hits and did not walk a batter while striking out six. Dominic Robinson, Riley Gossett and Brad Demco would then combine to toss the final 4.0 frames.
Fregia singled in his first two at-bats before crushing two-run homers in both the fourth and sixth innings. He finished 5-for-5 on the day and reached all six times at the plate, also scoring six runs. It was the second multi-homer game of the season for him and was a career high in hits, while pushing his home run total to 10 on the year to make him the first Kat with double-digit homers in a season since Chris Andreas had 12 in 2011.
His six runs scored also tied the school record, set by Bryan McDonald vs McNeese on March 10, 1986.
The Kats chased UIW (29-25, 13-16 SLC) starter Tyler Miller after just 1.2 innings, dropping his record to 3-5 on a day that saw him allow five runs on seven hits. In all, the Cardinals would use eight pitchers on the day.
Jack Rogers also finished 3-for-4 and scored five times as well, just one night after delivering a clutch two-run single to tie the game in the ninth inning of Thursday’s win. In all, nine Bearkats would pick up an RBI, including four by Ben Haefner, on a day that saw Sam Houston utilize nearly its entire roster of available position players.
Sam Houston scored three times in the first inning on Chisolm’s homer and RBI singles by both Hunter Hearn and Haefner. They then tacked on two more in the second on an RBI double by Clayton Harp and a ground ball by Hearn, giving the Kats a 5-0 lead after just two frames.
Fregia would drive in four more runs himself with his homers in both the fourth and sixth and Gavin Johnson picked up his first RBI of the season with a ground out in the seventh to push the lead to 10-0 before the Cardinals were finally able to get on the board in the bottom half of the seventh with a run.
But the Kats weren’t done, sending 10 batters to the plate and scoring five times in the eighth, highlighted by a three-run double by Haefner and an RBI single from Mac Odom. They added another in the ninth on a bases-loaded walk by Trey Ochoa.
The Kats will go for their fourth straight sweep of the Cardinals on Saturday afternoon at Sullivan Field. Sophomore Hayden Wesneski is scheduled to get the start for Sam Houston with first pitch set for 1:00 p.m.