HUNTSVILLE – The Sam Houston State Bearkats scored late and left a pair of men on base in the ninth to take down the Baylor Bears, 8-7, on Tuesday night at Don Sanders Stadium.
The win snapped a four-game win streak by the Bears (13-6) in Huntsville and puts the Kats (13-5) in position to sweep the season series for the first time since 2014.
Sam Houston scored four times in its final two at-bats, but it was an RBI ground out by Reese Johnson to score pinch runner Darien Simms that proved to be the difference. From there reliever Riley Gossett entered and got the final three outs to preserve the victory.
The Kats will now head to New Orleans for a three-game league series at Maestri Field beginning Friday at 6:30 p.m.
The Bearkats used five pitchers on the night with Dominic Robinson getting the victory, the first of the season for the junior lefty. He allowed one run in the eighth, but had a strikeout and minimized the damage after entering in a difficult situation with a runner on third and nobody out after the Kats had taken a 7-4 lead.
Daniel Caruso was the losing pitcher for Baylor as the fifth of six pitchers the Bears turned to. He entered in the bottom of the eighth and retired the first hitter he saw before Gavin Johnson delivered a triple into the left-field corner. Caruso was then lifted for Kyle Hill, but Reese Johnson was able to put the ball in play to get the go-ahead run home.
Gossett picked up his second save of the season with a scoreless ninth. He struck out Davis Wendzel to open the inning but things got dicey when Shea Langeliers doubled just inside the third-base bag with two outs in the inning. The Kats elected to then intentionally walk Davion Downey and Gossett took advantage, getting Cole Haring to ground out to the end the game with the tying runner still at second base.
BEARKAT KEY HITTERS
Sam Houston had just eight hits in the game with both Colton Cowser and Chase Cryer delivering two hits apiece. Cowser reached base in three of his four plate appearances in the game, picking up three RBI in the game. He drove in a pair on a two-run triple in the Kats’ four-run third inning and tacked on another with an RBI single in the seventh.
Riley McKnight did not have a hit, but found his way on base and scored a pair of runs. The most exciting of those runs came when he and Cowser perfectly executed a double steal in the seventh with McKnight swiping home with two outs for the third run of the inning and putting the Kats in front 7-4.
BEAR KEY HITTERS
Langeliers had a pair of extra-base hits, tripling home a run and doubling in the ninth, in addition to scoring twice. Nick Loftin had a two-out RBI single to tie the game in the eighth, while Richard Cunningham had a solo homer in the fifth that tied the game at 4-4 at the time.