By Cody Stark Huntsville Item
HUNTSVILLE - The Bearkats needed a big boost of confidence, having won only four games in April heading into Tuesday's game against Houston.
Thanks to reliever Paul Spinn, the bats of first baseman Taylor Davis and Kevin Miller and a stout defense, Sam Houston State closed the door on the Cougars with a 5-3 victory at Don Sanders Stadium.
It was just the Bearkats' second win in the past nine games as Sam Houston upped its record to 17-25 on the season. Houston dropped to 16-23.
"We got some key hits. It was a good baseball game," SHSU head coach Mark Johnson said. "I thought Spinn was kind of our hero. He came in and put up some big zeros (on the board) and gave us a chance to come back and get the lead."
Spinn was solid in relief of starter Justin Jackson, who gave up two runs in three innings.
With the Kats down 2-1 in the fourth, Spinn (2-5) gave up a one-out single to catcher Chris Wallace, but got third baseman Austin Gracey to ground into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
The junior from Temple College followed with four more scoreless innings before leaving in the top of ninth after allowing two straight singles with one out and the Kats up 5-2. Junior Brent Powers gave up an RBI double to Gracey, but got the final two outs to earn the save.
"I just tried to utilize my sinker as much as I could," Spinn said. "I had good movement on my fastball. I just wanted to get ground balls and let my defense do the work behind me. It was effective."
Sam Houston did a good job of manufactoring runs Tuesday night.
Davis led off the second inning with a single, the fourth with a double and the sixth with a walk. Shortstop Ryan Mooney moved Davis over to second all three times with a pair of sacrifice bunts and a fly out to right field.
Davis scored on a sacrifice fly by Miller in the second and came home on a double by Tyler Fiebrich in the fourth to tie the game. Center fielder Payton Wisener gave the Bearkats the lead for good when he drove Davis in with an infield single in the sixth.
"We have been struggling a little bit lately, but it was good to get some two-out hits tonight in the clutch," said Davis, who went 2-for-3 with three runs. "We were just trying to get something going. It was a good win for us."
Second baseman Braeden Riley added an RBI single in the seventh to stretch the lead to 4-2. Fiebrich ripped an RBI single in the eighth for another insurance run.
Left fielder Jessie Plumlee, designated hitter Chris Andreas and catcher Brandon Yates, who threw out two Cougars trying to steal second, each added a hit for Sam Houston.
The Bearkats return to action Friday night when they host Stephen F. Austin in the first contest of a three-game Southland Conference series at 6:30 p.m.
FRIDAY FAMILY PLAN TICKETS
"Family Plan" tickets for Friday's game are available. "Family Plan" tickets offer the opportunity to purchase four hot dogs, four pop corns, four drinks and four tickets all for just $8 each. There is a minimum purchase of four tickets per customer but any amount over four tickets may be purchased at one time.
For more information on exciting offers like the "Friday Family Pack Tickets", go to the ticket link below or contact the Sam Houston State ticket office located in the Ron Mafrige Field House at Bowers Stadium. The ticket office telephone number is (936) 294-1729.