Caleb Smith’s complete game shutout led the Bearkats to a 4-0 win over Southeastern Louisiana in the first of two games Sunday. The win clinched the series victory even though the Kats lost, 5-1, in game two.
Sam Houston (33-18, 17-7) remains first in the Southland Conference standings with three regular-season games left. A&M-Corpus Christi (15-9) is two games back of the Kats, while three teams are tied for third with a 14-10 record.
Smith (7-4) was dominant in his first nine-inning effort of the season. The junior from Huntsville allowed just three hits and one walk while striking out three. He worked around two Bearkat errors and got two double plays from his defense.
Third baseman Kevin Miller started the scoring with an RBI double in the first inning. Catcher Anthony Azar hit a three-run double in the fifth inning to complete the scoring.
In game two, Azar was the Kats only offensive threat as he blasted a solo homerun in the fourth inning. The junior backstop was 3-for-4, accounting for nearly half of the team’s seven hits.
SLU’s starter Kaleb Manuel neutralized the Bearkat offense with a complete game performance. Manuel struck out four and didn’t issue any free passes.
Bearkat starter Andrew Godail gave up three runs in the first inning and allowed four runs in three innings of work. Logan Boyd allowed a run in relief while Alan Scott pitched the final 3 1/3 scoreless innings.
The Kats will close the season at home against Central Arkansas, Thursday through Saturday. Two wins will give Sam Houston a second consecutive outright conference championship.