Tyler Eppler tossed his first career complete game to lead the No. 20 Sam Houston baseball team to a 6-0 victory over Cal State Northridge in the series opener Friday at Don Sanders Stadium. Saturday’s contest has been moved up to a 12:00 p.m. start due to the threat of rain in later in the afternoon.
“I feel pretty good. Coach Pierce always makes fun of me because I can’t get past the seventh inning but I was locating all of my pitches tonight and I was getting ahead a lot,” Eppler said following his complete game performance. “They’re a team that doesn’t like to strike out so I was just throwing quality pitches and letting them get themselves out.”
Eppler followed up a solid six-inning shutout performance against ranked TCU last week with nine shutout frames against CSUN. The junior from Navasota allowed only three hits and issued just one walk in the game while striking out one batter.
The Bearkat offense provided support for Eppler early on. Walks by left fielder Luke Plucheck and second baseman Ryan Farney came around to score in the second inning when center fielder Colt Atwood doubled down the right field line.
Atwood finished the game 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored. Neither Plucheck nor Farney got a hit but they both scored twice in the game.
SHSU added to their lead in the fourth inning. Plucheck was hit by a pitch to lead off the frame and Farney walked. Atwood singled to load the bases with one out. After first baseman Ryan O’Hearn struck out, catcher Anthony Azar worked a bases-loaded walk to drive in a run and extend the inning.
Right fielder Hayden Simerly ripped a double down the left field line that cleared the bases and gave the Kats a 6-0 lead.
“Tyler Eppler had a great night, being able to toss a complete game three-hitter,” head coach David Pierce said. “His fastball will jump on you and he was throwing it well. He also got a feel for the curveball late.”
Freshman Sam Odom will take the mound Saturday for his second career start. Odom has already picked up two wins and a save while only allowing one earned run in 14 1/3 innings.