HUNTSVILLE – The Sam Houston State Bearkats could not get the big hit it was looking for on Saturday afternoon as the Incarnate Word Cardinals escaped Don Sanders Stadium with a 6-2 win in the middle game of a three-game series.
SHSU (11-5, 4-1 SLC) held a 2-1 lead entering the sixth inning, but UIW (11-8, 2-3 SLC) struck for four runs in the sixth and held on the rest of the way for the win to even the series.
The Kats will go after the series win on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. at Don Sanders Stadium in the series finale.
Tyler Miller was just efficient enough for UIW and was on the hill at the right time to up his record to 2-3 on the season. He allowed just two runs on five hits in 5.0 innings, striking out three and walking two.
Nick Mikolajchak took the first loss of the season to his ledger, despite having allowed just one run through his first 5.0 innings of work. He finished with five strikeouts and just one walk, but finished with five runs allowed, four of which came in the decisive sixth inning.
UIW turned to its top arm, Bernie Martinez, to open the seventh inning and the senior right-hander went the rest of the way and kept the Kats off the board despite walking two batters and hitting two more. It was his second save of the year.
BEARKAT KEY HITTERS
The Kats had just seven hits in the game, and just one for extra bases. Jordan Cannon was the lone Kat with multiple hits, going 2-for-4, while Jack Rogers had a double. Hunter Hearn and Riley McKnight picked up the Bearkat RBI.
CARDINAL KEY HITTERS
Taylor Smith went 3-for-4 with two RBI and a pair of runs scored to lead UIW, who saw five of their 12 hits go for extra bases. Jordan Thompson went 2-for-5 with two runs driven in on his second homer of the year.
The Bearkats held a 2-1 lead and looked to be in control until things got difficult in the sixth inning. UIW struck for four runs on five hits, getting three extra-base hits in two-strike counts to flip the script on the Kats. Antonio Valdez tied the game just two batters into the inning with a triple into the right-field corner, but the big blow came from Jeremy Thompson three batters later when he blasted an 0-2 pitch over the left-field fence for a two-run homer to make it a 5-2 game.