The Sam Houston baseball team, behind solid pitching and timely hitting, beat the No. 22 ranked Texas Longhorns 5-3 Tuesday night in Austin.
Bearkat starter Tyler Eppler pitched 5.2 innings but didn't give up a hit until the fifth inning when Mark Payton singled to right field. Eppler had only allowed one baserunner in the first four innings.
The Bearkat offense got off to a hot start. Hayden Simerly jumped on the first pitch of the second inning and drove a double to right field. After Spence Rahm grounded out, Ryan O'Hearn tripled to the right-field gap to drive in Simerly. Kevin Miller had an RBI groundout to make the score 2-0.
"There's one of two ways you can come in here, and that's be the aggressor or be intimidated," said head coach David Pierce. "We definitely weren't intimidated tonight and we were very aggressive at home plate and we really attacked the strike zone."
The first Longhorn base runner reached on a walk in the third but was immediately gunned down by Anthony Azar to end the inning.
Freshman Spence Rahm hit a solo homerun to left field in the top of the fourth to make the score 3-0. Then the next half inning he robbed Texas designated hitter Matt Moynihan on a leaping catch at first base. Rahm was one-for-four in the game but made an impact on both sides.
The Longhorns finally got on the board in the sixth inning when Ben Johnson singled before Moynihan tripled off of the right field wall to drive him in. Moynihan scored on an RBI groundout by the next batter Taylor Stell to make the score 3-2.
Eppler gave up another hit in the inning and was replaced by Logan Boyd, who got a fly out to right to end the inning.
"Tyler (Eppler) was outstanding tonight," said Pierce. "He got his first win in Division I baseball. He was really good with the curve ball and changeup and had something on his fast ball."
The Bearkats immediately answered in the next half inning. Luke Plucheck reached on a two-base fielding error by the first baseman and advanced to third on a passed ball. Atwood singled to drive him in.
Carter Burgess kept the inning alive and singled to move Atwood to third before Azar drove him in on a sacrifice fly to make the score 5-2.
"Throughout the night we really fought at home plate," Pierce said. "Overall this is just a really great win."
Boyd pitched around a walk in the seventh inning and got two outs in the eighth before giving up an RBI triple to Mark Payton, to make the score 5-3.
Jason Simms replaced Boyd who got the final four outs of the ballgame and the save.
Simms struck out Codey McElroy to start the bottom of the ninth. Brooks Marlow and Jeremy Montalbano each grounded out to shortstop to end the game.
The Texas Longhorns had won ten straight midweek games coming into the night.
The Bearkats are back home at Don Sanders Stadium this weekend for a three-game series against Arkansas State.