NACOGDOCHES – Erich Lehmann held Sam Houston State without a hit for the first six innings to lead Stephen F. Austin to a 3-2 victory over the Bearkats in the first contest of a three-game Southland Conference baseball series Friday afternoon.
Second baseman Braeden Riley picked up the Kats’ first hit in the bottom of the seventh inning to extend his hitting streak to 15 games. Shortstop Jon Reed singled Riley to second and both scored on a double by right fielder Tyler Knight. But Sam Houston would get only one more hit, a single by left fielder Nick Zaleski, as the eighth place Lumberjacks upset the third place Bearkats.
Outfielder Ryan Priest made the defensive play of the game with two outs in the seventh, robbing Ryan Mooney of a two-run home run that would have given the Kats the lead by leaping over the fence and pulling the ball back in to retire the side.
Stephen F. Austin (20-24, SLC 11-13) totaled eight hits. The Lumberjacks jumped out to a 2-0 lead with runs in the first two innings. First baseman Shawn Meyers’ sacrifice fly scored left fielder Zach Gardner who reached first after being hit by a pitch to start the first inning. Catcher Jarid Scaraflotti singled and scored on a Bearkat error in the second inning. Right fielder Bo Coffman brought in what proved to be the winning run in the sixth inning with an RBI double.
Sean Weatherford (5-5) was credited with the loss while throwing his second complete game of the year. He spread eight hits over eight innings and struck out five Lumberjacks.
Lehmann (6-3) retired the first 17 batters he faced before walking Adam DeLaGarza in the sixth inning. DeLaGarza was thrown out at second attempting to steal. Richard Folmer pitched the eighth inning and Chris Court picked up the save throwing the final inning.
Sam Houston State now has lost five games in a row including four Southland Conference contests. The two teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 12 noon. The original schedule called for single games on Saturday and Sunday, but the threat of rain for Sunday caused the change in schedule.