Tyler Eppler tossed seven strong innings to lead the Bearkats to a 4-1 win over No. 19 Houston on the road Wednesday. The game was originally scheduled for Tuesday but was postponed due to inclement weather.
Eppler kept the Cougar batters off balance the entire night and scattered just four hits in his seven innings of work. The sophomore’s seven-frame outing is the longest of his young Sam Houston career. Eppler pitched six innings in a win over No. 17 Rice last week.
The two teams split the regular-season series after Houston beat SHSU 6-3 in the Kats home opener. They also split the series in 2012.
The Bearkats (16-12, 4-2) did all the scoring they would need in the second inning. Designated hitter Shea Pierce was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and first baseman Spence Rahm walked before they both moved up on an error on a pickoff attempt. Left fielder Luke Plucheck singled to left field to drive in both runners. He finished 2-for-4 with two RBI.
Cougar’s starter Aaron Garza hit right fielder Greg Olson with a pitch and still hadn’t recorded an out until center fielder Colt Atwood hit a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners. Second baseman Jessie Plumlee singled on a chopper through the left side to score Plucheck before Olson was thrown out at the plate trying to score on the play.
SHSU won their fourth game over a ranked opponent this season. The Kats won 5-3 at Texas and swept two games against the Rice Owls. There are still two games against Texas A&M on the schedule.
Houston scored their only run of the game in the fourth inning when shortstop Frankie Ratcliff singled to left field to score third baseman Kyle Kirk.
The Kats tacked on an insurance run in the eighth inning when Plumlee scored from third on a wild pitch. Plumlee was 2-for-3 in the game with a run scored and one driven in.
Logan Boyd relieved Eppler in the eighth inning and allowed just one hit in two innings to register his first career save. The freshman walked two batters in the ninth but got right fielder Ashford Fulmer to fly out to end the game.
Plucheck was 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored. Shortstop Carter Burgess was 2-for-4 and catcher Anthony Azar was 1-for-4.
The Bearkats are back home this weekend for a conference series against McNeese State that starts Friday at 6:30 p.m.