A four-run sixth inning fueled Sam Houston State to an 8-4 win, extending the Bearkats’ winning streak to 11 games and securing a third straight weekend sweep. Sam Houston (37-14, 19-8 SLC) moves into a tie for first place in the Southland and is just two wins away from a third straight outright league championship.
Designated hitter Hayden Simerly delivered the big hit, a two-run double to left center that gave SHSU a 5-4 lead. Left fielder Dylan Ebbs got the sixth inning started with a single to left before right fielder Travis Lee reached on an error. Center fielder Colt Atwood loaded the bases with a bunt single.
The Huskies made a pitching change after Simerly’s double and catcher Anthony Azar greeted the reliever with an RBI single to left field. After a strikeout, shortstop Corey Toups drove in another run with a single into right center. The Kats scored four runs on five hits and an error in the inning.
Andrew Godail pitched 5 1/3 innings of relief to lead the Kats to victory. Starter Sam Odom and reliever Dirk Masters combined to give up three runs over the first three innings. Godail was able to come in and settle things down, allowing just one run on five hits.
Sam Houston came out swinging in the top of the first inning. Atwood and Simerly each singled before first baseman Ryan O’Hearn drove in a run with an RBI single to right center. The Kats left a pair of runners on base in the first.
Houston Baptist took the lead right back in a sloppy bottom of the first by the Bearkats. After a single and a walk led off the inning the Huskies tied the game on three wild pitches. The go-ahead run scored on an error at shortstop. Odom couldn’t get out of the first inning and was replaced by Masters.
Second baseman Shea Pierce came through with a big hit in the third inning. After Azar and shortstop Corey Toups each walked, Pierce drove a two-run double into the gap in right-center field to give the Kats the lead back, 3-2.
SHSU would surrender the lead in the bottom of the third. A pair of singles led off the frame before two one-out walks tied the game 3-3. Godail was called in from the bullpen and needed just two pitches to roll a 6-4-3 double play and end the inning.
HBU would take a 4-3 lead the next inning after a lead-off walk was sacrificed to second and scored on single to right field.
That would be all of the offense for Houston Baptist as they were shut out in the final five frames.
Luke Plucheck entered the game to pinch run in the sixth inning and later provided another insurance run with a solo home run to left field in the seventh inning.
Ryan Brinley recorded the final four outs of the game and picked up his eighth save of the season. Brinley extended his scoreless streak to 11 consecutive innings.
The Bearkats will play their last midweek game of the season at Texas A&M Tuesday at 6:35 p.m. SHSU will then have the chance to win the Southland Conference at home against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The series starts Thursday at 6:30 p.m., continues Friday at 6:30 p.m. and concludes Saturday at 1 p.m.