HOUSTON – Coming from behind is kind of becoming a thing for the Bearkats. For the second straight game, Sam Houston baseball has rallied from four runs or more to win a ball game in their last at-bat, Knocking off Rice 10-9 Wednesday night at Reckling Park.
The win for the Kats is their fourth one-run victory and the fourth time this season they have won the game in their final at-bat.
The Kats trailed 9-5 after four innings, but then the bullpen, led by junior transfer Cody Wolf, came in and blanked the Owls the rest of the way, giving the Bearkat offense a chance to win it. Wolf was spectacular in relief going 3.1 innings and retiring all 10 batters he faced to get his second win of the season.
“He had a really good breaking ball going,” Matt Deggs said. “He was pounding the strike zone and getting ahead with his fastball and had them off-balance. He did exactly what we needed him to do. He gave us some stability and allowed us to get back in this one.”
After the Owls took a 9-5 lead in the fourth, the combination of Wolf, James Kuykendall and Kyle Backhus blanked the Owls the rest of the way, combining for seven strikeouts and allowing just one hit.
In the sixth, Jack Rogers started the comeback for the Kats, delivering a towering two-run shot to right to cut the lead to 9-7. It put a cap on a big day at the plate for Rogers who was 3-for-6 with three runs scored.
In the 8th, the Kats tied the game up with two more runs to knot things at nine. Diego Davila got it started with an RBI single to plate Gavin Johnson who led off the inning with a walk. Then two wild pitches allowed Jaxxon Grisham to score the tying run.
In the ninth, the Kats once again took advantage of Rice mistakes. Once again it was a leadoff walk that started things off for Sam Houston when Hunter Hearn took a free pass to start the ninth. Following a single by Jordan Cannon, Grisham was hit by a pitch to load the basses. Davila then brought home the winning run when he watched a 3-2 fastball miss the zone for and RBI walk.
“The offense was just tenacious tonight,” Deggs said. “Grinding at bats, grinding at bats and had a great approach all night. We had some punch outs here and there but just kept coming after them.”
Colton Cowser got the scoring started for the Kats in the top of the first, driving in Jack Rogers who led off the game with a double. The hit for Cowser gives him a 10-game hit streak to start his Bearkat career.
The Kats then broke out for a big inning in the third, plating four. After hits by Rogers and Riley McKnight, Cowser drove in his second run of the game on a sacrifice fly. Hunter Hearn followed with a double to plate McKnight. Following a single by Clayton Harp, Jordan Cannon drove in two more to give the Kats a 5-1 lead.
Rice answered back with four runs in the bottom half of the inning against reliever Matt Dillard, who had just checked into the game in relief of starting pitcher Seth Ballew. The Owls tacked on four more in the fourth to take a 9-5 lead.
The Kats will now turn their attention to league play when they return to Houston on Friday to take on HBU in a three game series.