WACO -- Sam Houston State rallied from a pair of first-inning runs to take a 4-2 win over Baylor on the road. The win is the Bearkats’ (31-14) fifth straight and fourth this season against the Big 12 Conference.
“Anytime you can sweep a Big 12 team on the road it’s a good sign for your ball club,” head coach Pierce said. “I thought we swung the bats well and we pitched great out of the bullpen. This is a good win for us to keep playing well and get ready for SFA.”
Third baseman Carter Burgess provided the big hit against Baylor two weeks ago at Don Sanders Stadium and was able to do it again Tuesday at Baylor Ballpark.
Burgess ripped a two-run double to deep left field to give SHSU the lead in the third inning and that was all the Kats would need. Center fielder Colt Atwood and first baseman Ryan O'Hearn each singled and scored on Burgess’ double. The junior third baseman came around to score when shortstop Corey Toups reached on an error to make the score 4-2.
“I guess there’s something about (playing Baylor),” Burgess said following the win. “We put the guys out there and I hoped to hit them in and luckily the ball fell. We got the win though and that’s all that matters. When we get hot we feel like we can win any game and that’s big for us. Hopefully we continue to do this.”
Center fielder Colt Atwood hit the first pitch of the game up the middle and designated hitter Hayden Simerly followed with a single to center field but the pair were left on base in the first.
Baylor opened the scoring with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first. Shortstop Hayden Ross and right fielder Adam Toth each singled before Ross scored on an RBI-groundout. After a walk put runners on the corners, Toth stole home on a double steal.
The Bearkats were able to peg a run back in the top of the second when shortstop Corey Toups led off with a double and scored on an errant throw after Shea Pierce’s bunt single.
SHSU starter Dylan Ebbs rallied from his tough first inning to toss a perfect second frame. The freshman right-hander then managed to work himself out of jams in the following innings. Baylor had two singles in the third, one in the fourth, another pair of singles in the fifth, and a double in the sixth.
Base runners were harder to come by for the Bearkats after their three run third inning. The only Kats to reach after the third were second baseman Ryan Farney, who singled in the sixth, Burgess, who reached on an error in the eighth, and left fielder Luke Plucheck who singled in the ninth.
Andrew Godail relieved Ebbs with a runner on first and one out in the bottom of the seventh and proceeded to get an inning-ending double play.
Godail allowed a pair of one-out singles in the eighth and was replaced by Nolan Riggs who struck out a pair of Baylor Bears to keep SHSU’s 4-2 lead intact. The tall righty hasn’t allowed a run in his last 10 1/3 innings spread over four outings.
Ryan Brinley struck out the side in the bottom of the ninth to pick up his sixth save of the season. The junior has recorded a save in each of the last three Bearkat wins.
Sam Houston hosts rival Stephen F. Austin this weekend at Don Sanders Stadium. The series gets started Friday at 6:30 p.m., continues Saturday with a 4:00 p.m. game, and concludes Sunday at 1:00 p.m.