HUNTSVILLE – The Sam Houston State Bearkats bounced back from Friday’s extra-inning loss to Southeastern Louisiana to even the series with a 10-4 win on Saturday at Don Sanders Stadium.
The Kats jumped out early in the game tagging Lion starting pitcher Tyler Watkins for four runs in the first inning on five consecutive singles. They followed that up with two in the second and one in the third to get out to an early 7-0 lead.
Brent Powers, who came on in relief for starter Caleb Smith in the fourth inning, pitched the final 5 1/3innings to pick up his fourth win of the season. He scattered six hits, allowing just one run while striking out five.
Smith cruised through the first three innings, allowing just one hit, but the Lions got to him in the fourth. He allowed three runs, including a two-out, two-run single to Cass Hargis, which ended his day.
The game stayed at 7-3 until the sixth, when Chris Andreas belted a double off the left field wall to plate two runs and give the Kats a 9-3 advantage. Daniel Nottebart connected for his third homer of the season to lead off the seventh.
Ryan Mooney had three hits for the Kats as did Luke Plucheck. Braeden Riley, hitting in the four-hole for the first time this season, was 2-for-4 with three runs driven in. Andreas and Nottebart each drove in a pair of runs.
"It's important when you come off a tough loss like that to come out in the first and hit them right away," Sam Houston shortstop Braeden Riley said. "We didn't let up and kept coming at them and having good at-bats. We kept playing and kept scoring. That's important."
With a loss by Texas-Arlington, the Bearkats are back into a three-way tie for third in the Southland Conference with the Mavericks and SLU. Texas State and SFA still sit atop the standing, with a three-game cushion on the rest of the pack.
"The top of our order contributed big time," Sam Houston head coach Mark Johnson said. "We got the momentum early."
The final game of the series will be Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.
BEARKAT AUTOGRAPH DAY SUNDAY
Following the final game of the Kats-Lions series Sunday afternoon, the Sam Houston baseball team will be on the field for a special autograph session.
All fans are invited and may bring their own items to be signed. Huntsville Boys Baseball Association (HBBA) players will receive an SHSU logo baseball when they enter the stadium on Sunday which they can get signed at the autograph session.
Sam Houston has only six home games remaining at Don Sanders Stadium this year. Following the Southeastern Louisiana series this weekend, the Bearkats will play host to Texas Southern Tuesday, May 3 at 6:30 p.m. and then face A&M-Corpus Christi in the final Southland series of the year Thursday through Saturday, May 19-21.
The Mark Johnson Farewell Game with special pre-game ceremonies honoring Sam Houston's head coach will be on Friday, May 20, at 6:30 p.m. and "Senior Day" will highlight the home finale on Saturday, May 21.
Tickets for all seven home games are available online at www.gobearkats.com/tickets or by calling or stopping by the SHSU athletic ticket office located in the Ron Mafrige Field House at Bowers Stadium. Ticket office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The ticket office telephone is (936) 294-1729.