HOUSTON – Sam Houston State suffered a walk-off defeat for the second time in three days as Houston Baptist secured the series sweep with a 9-8 victory on Sunday afternoon at Husky Field.
After two quick outs in the ninth, the Huskies' (26-20, 18-9 Southland) Tyler Depreta-Johnson sent a two-out double off the wall in left. The Bearkats (32-20, 16-11) intentionally walked Austin Zillweger before Blake Thomas sent a 2-2 single through the left side to plate the winning run.
The loss came on a day in which Sam Houston pounded out 11 hits and took a four-run, helped by a five-run fourth. The Bearkats responded to each Huskies threat, putting across one in the fifth, seventh and eighth before pinch-hitter Jake Pulcheon tied the game, 8-8, with a two-run homer in the eighth.
Starter Hayden Wesneski was largely effective, holding HBU to five runs (four earned) while scattering eight hits and striking out six to just one walk. Three of Sam Houston's four relievers allowed a run to cross including the game-winner off Nick Mikolajchak (0-4).
HOW IT HAPPENED
Sam Houston fell behind in the third as the Huskies put two across on a fielder's choice and passed ball following up back-to-back hits including a double from Brandon Britz.
The Kats answered the bell in the fourth as Andrew Fregia trimmed the lead in half on a leadoff solo home run, his team-leading sixth of the season. Clayton Harp followed, lining a single into right and came around to score the tying run two hitters later on a Blake Chisolm RBI double.
Sam Houston loaded the bases and plated one three-straight hit by pitches for a 3-2 lead, chasing starter Daniel Endlsey who permitted six hits and five runs in 3 1-3 innings. Reliever JT Newton permitted a wild pitch plating another and Riley McKnight produced the fifth run on a sacrifice bunt.
The Kats tacked on another in the fifth as Fregia worked a nine-pitch walk and came home to score two hitters later on a passed ball. HBU grabbed three back in the bottom half, however, trimming the deficit to 6-5 as Pulcheon launched a two-out, three-run homer to left.
Clayton Harp struck back in the seventh, pulling a ball over the wall in right for a leadoff shot but once again, HBU responded with three singles in the seventh including a RBI base knock from Depreta-Johnson on the first pitch from reliever Colin Cameron.
Sam Houston's Jaxxon Grisham, who came on to play when Lance Miles exited after being hit by a pitch in the hand, drove a double into left center in the eighth. Pinch-runner Mac Odom came home to score after moving to third on a sac bunt and two-out RBI double from Bryce Johnson.
The Huskies, who tallied 15 hits, scored the game's final three runs over two innings for the series sweep.
Sam Houston heads to Texas A&M on Tuesday for its final non-conference game, taking on the Aggies at 6:30 p.m. from Blue Bell Park. The game can be seen on the SEC Network Plus and ESPN3. The team returns home to close out Southland Conference play next weekend against Incarnate Word.
Head coach Matt Deggs on the loss and series sweep…
“We got a pretty good performance out of Wesneski. He got us off to a good start. We came out and swung the bats better today and executed defensively. Tip your caps to HBU. They played tremendous for three games. Two of the three games were great ballgames that could have swung either way. We just weren't able to put them away. Hats off to their guys, they were clicking on all cylinders this weekend.”