NEW ORLEANS – Hayden Wesneski made a bid at his first career no-hitter, but still went the distance as the Sam Houston State Bearkats took out New Orleans, 6-2, on Friday night at Maestri Field.
The Bearkat (14-5, 6-1 SLC) ace was nearly untouchable until late in the game and retired 20 of the first 21 hitters he faced until allowing a single to Luther Woullard with two outs in the seventh. He finished with a career-high 13 strikeouts and just one walk to move to 4-0 on the year.
He used just 107 pitches and allowed five hits, three coming with two outs in the ninth. It was also his second career complete game and first since going the distance vs Kent State on opening weekend in 2018.
Sam Houston also got the bats going in taking the series opener from the Privateers (12-9, 2-5 SLC), pounding out 14 hits and striking for five runs off of UNO starter Brandon Mitchell who struck out five in 7.0 innings of work in falling to 1-1 on the season.
Jordan Cannon was one of five Bearkats with two hits in the game, but was the lone SHSU hitter to have an extra-base hit with his two-run double in the sixth inning giving SHSU some breathing room in an otherwise close game.
The Bearkats will return to Maestri Field on Saturday for the second game of the series. First pitch is set for 2:00 p.m. and can be followed on live stats or by following @BearkatsBSB on Twitter. A video and audio stream are both available at UNOPrivateers.com.
The Kats had a chance to get on the board in the fourth before a double play ended the rally, but they went right back to work in the fifth to get out in front. Three straight singles by Cannon, Gavin Johnson and Chase Cryer loaded the bases to start the inning and Diego Davila got the Kats on the board with an RBI ground out. Two batters later McKnight beat out a grounder that did not make it off the infield dirt, scoring Cryer to give the Kats a 2-0 lead.
One inning later the Kats were able to get to Mitchell once again in the sixth with singles by Hearn and Clayton Harp setting the table for Cannon who smashed a 1-0 pitch off the left-center field wall to score both base runners and push the SHSU lead to 4-0. Sam Houston would add one more run in the seventh on an RBI single from Hearn, then another in the ninth on a sacrifice fly from Cowser.