Sam Houston State’s second outing proved to be a much more complete effort as they cruised to an 8-1 win over Northern Colorado Saturday at Don Sanders Stadium.
Junior starting pitcher Andrew Godail started slowly on the mound, walking two batters in the first inning but he settled in and tossed a solid 5 2/3 innings allowing just one run. The lefty struck out eight batters and ended up with just three walks.
“Andrew (Godail) struggled early but really did a great job of gaining his confidence and relaxing and getting back out there,” head coach David Pierce said. “He’s such a tough kid and he puts a lot of pressure on himself. I think he was just a little tight and need to relax.”
Northern Colorado opened the scoring in the first inning after a leadoff walk came around to score. That would end up being the only run of the night for the Bears.
The Kats immediately answered with three runs of their own in the bottom half of the first. Shortstop Corey Toups led off the game with a walk and stole second base. Toups advanced to third on a groundout by center fielder Colt Atwood and catcher Anthony Azar followed with a walk.
Right fielder Hayden Simerly gave the Kats the lead when he ripped a triple to the gap in deep right center field to plate Toups and Azar. Simerly finished the game with three hits and has started the season batting .625 with four runs driven in.
Sam Houston added to their lead in the fourth inning when second baseman Ryan Farney singled through the left side to score left fielder Luke Plucheck who reached on a fielder’s choice and stole second.
The Bearkats would tack on two runs in the sixth and two runs in the eighth to cruise to victory.
“I thought we did a much better job of being patient at home plate tonight,” “We laid off some tougher pitches early in the count and we didn’t chase out of the zone. We’re a much better hitting team when we do that,” Pierce added.
SHSU was very active on the bases tonight and finished with six stolen bases.
Sophomore pitcher Ryan Brinley made his debut for Sam Houston State by pitching a scoreless 1 1/3 innings of relief with a pair of strikeouts. Logan Boyd tossed the final two innings, striking out three.
Plucheck finished the game 3-for-4 with three runs scored, while Farney was 2-for-4 with two runs driven in. Azar got his first two hits of the season and drove in a run.
Sam Houston and Northern Colorado will continue the series Sunday at 1 p.m. at Don Sanders Stadium and will wrap it up Monday at 4 p.m.