Game 54-56
Thursday, May 18 – Saturday, May 20 • Huntsville, Texas • Don Sanders Stadium

Incarnate Word (20-33, 8-19 SLC) vs. Sam Houston State (33-20, 16-11 SLC) • Purchase Tickets
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HUNTSVILLE – Sam Houston State closes out the regular season while four seniors will play their final home games when the Bearkats take on Incarnate Word in a three-game set starting Thursday at 6:30 p.m. Friday's middle game is slated for 6:30 p.m. and Saturday's finale will take place at 1 p.m.

Sam Houston enters Thursday in fourth place in the Southland Conference standings. The team, which has locked up a spot next week's league tournament bases on tie-breaker procedures, can finish as high as third or as low as eighth.

Ten minutes prior to Saturday's first pitch, the Bearkats will honor seniors Taylor Beene, Heath Donica, Robie Rojas and Lance Miles. The quartet of players have all been two-year starters for the program, helping Sam Houston to a pair of league titles and NCAA Tournament appearance a season ago.

RHP Heath Donica, SHSU (7-1, 1.82 ERA) vs. RHP John Shull, UIW (4-7, 5.80 ERA)

RHP Hayden Wesneski, SHSU (8-2, 3.93 ERA) vs. RHP Bernie Martinez, UIW (3-5, 4.54 ERA)
TBD, SHSU vs. LHP Garret Cooper, UIW (0-0, 6.91 ERA)

Thursday marks the 12th overall meeting between Sam Houston and Incarnate Word and seventh in Southland Conference action. The Bearkats have won six in a row against the Cardinals including a three-game sweep a season ago in San Antonio.

During the three-game set, the Bearkats hit .466, scoring 43 runs while posting a 2.33 ERA. The weekend was a coming-out-party for Clayton Harp, who finished 8-for-11 with five RBIs. Harp set a new school record with a 7-for-7 performance in the middle game as the Kats set a new team-best with 30 hits.

With a fifth-inning RBI single, Sam Houston's Bryce Johnson moved into sole possession of 10th in program history for hits with 219. The junior, who reached base five times against the Aggies, stole three bases, moving into a tie for sixth in career lore with 58 swiped bags.

Head coach Matt Deggs on what he's looking to see against Incarnate Word…

“We just want to get back to playing good baseball on the weekend. It's kind of odd in the fact that we've played pretty good we just haven't cashed in at the right time. We haven't been very opportunistic when it mattered and it's cost us some ballgames here lately. We need to use this weekend to play good baseball, get on a roll and have a little momentum going into the tournament.”

Head coach Matt Deggs on coming back to play at home…
“We've played extremely good here. It will be good to be back in front of our home fans. We have the best fan base in the league and one of the best in the state. I am sure this place will be rocking this weekend. We still have everything in front of us. Nothing is over. The story has yet to be written. We have yet to write the final chapter.”

Head coach Matt Deggs on the senior class and what they've meant to the program…
“It's a really special class. We brought in every single one of them and we've all become family. There is an extremely close-knit bond and unity. While they may leaving, they'll all be family. I can't say enough about Robie, Lance, Heater and Beene. They've given us everything they have from day one. They've bought in and believe. They've won a lot of games. They're all going to be successful regardless of what they do.”