NCAA HOUSTON REGIONAL INFORMATION
-- TICKETS, SCHEDULE, LIVE STATS, VIDEO

 

Watch highlight video from SLC Tournament

 

RADIO COVERAGE

All Regional games will be broadcast locally in Huntsville on Classic Hits 1490 KHVL-AM and on GoBearkats.com. Jason Barfield and Kooter Roberson will have the call this weekend. To listen to the games online CLICK HERE.  

 

NCAA REGIONAL SCHEDULE

 

Friday, May 29 - Reckling Park
2 p.m. -- Kansas State (41-16) vs. Xavier (38-19)
6 p.m. - Rice (39-15) vs. Sam Houston (36-22)

 

Saturday, May 30 - Reckling Park
2 p.m. -- Xavier vs. Sam Houston
6 p.m. -- Kansas State vs. Rice

 

Sunday, May 31 - Reckling Park
2 p.m. -- Winner game 3 vs. loser game 4

6 p.m. -- Winner game 4 vs. Winner game 5

 

Monday, June 1 - Reckling Park
TBA -- If necessary

 

TICKET INFORMATION
Tickets for the Houston (Rice) Regional are on sale online at RiceOwls.com, or through the Rice Athletic Ticket Office at Rice Stadium. All-session passes are available for $55. Tickets for single games will go on sale on Thursday, May 28. Tickets can be purchased in person or over the phone by calling (713) 522-OWLS during normal business hours from Tuesday through Thursday.

Kansas State and Xavier are making their first appearances in the NCAA tournament and are two of 29 teams who were not in the 2008 field. Binghamton, Cal Poly and Georgia St. are also making the championship for the first time. Utah last was in the field in 1960, Boston College last made it in 1967. 

 

Kansas State and Xavier meet in the other half of the draw at the Houston regional,


SIXTH NCAA BASEBALL REGIONAL APPEARANCE

Sam Houston has earned a berth in the NCAA Division I baseball regionals for the sixth time in school history and the third year in a row. Moving up to NCAA Division I status in 1986-87, the Bearkats played in baseball regionals in Austin in 1987, 1989 and 1996; in Oxford, Miss. in 2007 and in Houston last year.


The Kats’ best NCAA Regional performance came in 2007 at Ole Miss when the Bearkats posted come-from-behind victories over Troy (5-4) and Southern Mississippi (12-11 in 11 innings) to reach the finals before falling to Mississippi.
SHSU stands 5-10 in NCAA Regional action, defeating Oklahoma and Indiana State in 1987 and upsetting No. 2 Miami 5-4 in the first round of the 1996 regional.


The Bearkats are the second Southland Conference team to make NCAA Division I tournament appearances in three consecutive years. Lamar was the first in 2002, 2003, 2004 (earning an at-large berth in 2003). Sam Houston is the first league member to punch its ticket for the NCAA event by winning three straight SLC post-season tournaments. 
The Bearkats went 4-0 in each of the 2007, 2008 and 2009 Southland tournaments, rolling up a league record 12-game winning streak in SLC post-season tournament play.

 

HEAD COACH MARK JOHNSON

Sam Houston head coach Mark Johnson is 11 victories away from becoming the 37th coach in NCAA Division I baseball history to post 1,000 career coaching victories. Johnson ranks No. 17 among active NCAA Division I baseball head coaches in career victories with a 24-year record of 989 wins, 502 losses and three ties.


Each of his three years as Bearkat head coach, Johnson has directed Sam Houston to NCAA regional berths by winning the SLC tournament.  His record at SHSU stands at 118-73.
Johnson produced an 876-433-3 record in 21 years at Texas A&M, directing the Aggies to 13 NCAA Regional appearances and two College World Series berths (1993 and 1999).

 

THE BEARKATS IN 2009

Sam Houston posted a 36-22 overall season record in 2009, the Kats’ third consecutive winning season. Prior to Mark Johnson’s arrival in Huntsville in 2007, the Bearkats had gone eight seasons without a winning record and five years without qualifying for the Southland post-season tournament.


The Bearkats were seventh in the final regular season Southland Conference standings with an 18-14 mark. With their victory at Corpus Christi, the Kats became the lowest seeded team ever to win the post-season title.

 

SAM HOUSTON PROBABLE STARTING LINE-UP / BATTING ORDER

Pos  No  Name  Ht.    Wt. B-T  Class  Avg  2B-3B-HR 
2B  11 Braeden Riley  5-9   170  R-R  So-1L  ,390   13-3-2
3B   3  Ryan Mooney  5-11 180  R-R  So-1L  .299   10-2-3
LF  29 Nick Zaleski  6-3   195  R-R  Sr-3L  .425   20-0-9
SS  28 Jon Reed  5-11 185  R-R  Jr-Tr  .333    7-3-1
40 Mark Wyatt  5-11 210  R-R  Sr-1L  .332   16-0-14
RF  23 Tyler Knight  6-2   185  R-R  Jr-Tr  .341   11-1-7 
1B  10 Daniel Nottebart  6-2   185  L-L  So-1L  .308    6-0-0 
DH  25 Heath Pugh  5-11 190  R-R  Sr-2L  .272    2-0-1 
CF   9  Adam DeLaGarza  5-8   180  R-R  Jr-Tr  .324    6-1-2 
35 Sean Weatherford  6-2   170  R-R  Fr-HS  3.62  W-8, L-5 
  18 Dallas Gallant  6-2   175  R-R  So-1L  6.52  W-4, L-4 
  14 Brent Powers  6-0   205  L-L  So-1L  4.28  W-3, L-2 
   2  Jacob Howard 6-0   185  L-R  Jr-2L  4.89  W-4, L-4 
RP  34 Matt Shelton  6-3   175  R-R  So-1L  1.86  W-7, L-0  
  38 Guillaume Duguay  6-0   185 R-R  Sr-1L  3.73  W-2, L-1 
  1   Ryan Tepera  6-0   175  R-R  Jr-1L  7.38  W-2, L-1 
  5   Will Skelton  6-1   217  L-L  Sr-1L  2.63  W-2, L-2 
 

 

BEARKATS HITTING ABOVE .300 FOR THIRD STRAIGHT YEAR

Sam Houston owns a .331 team batting average in 2009, the third year in a row for the Kats to hit more than .300. In 2008, SHSU set a school record with its .335 team average. The Kats hit .321 in Mark Johnson’s first season at SHSU in 2007. Prior to the past three years, the team season batting average record was .315 in 1980.


Seven Bearkat starters are hitting over .300 including Nick Zaleski (.425), Braeden Riley (.390), Tyler Knight (.341), Jon Reed (.333), Mark Wyatt (.332), Adam DeLaGarza (.324) and Daniel Nottebart (.308).

 

SAM HOUSTON STATE PITCHING

For the season, Sam Houston holds a 5.23 team earned run average. In leading the Kats to the Southland tournament title, however, the pitching staff came up big, allowing only 10 earned runs in 38 innings for a 2.37 team ERA.


Sophomore reliever Matt Shelton was the SLC tournament MVP with two victories in relief including the championship game win over Texas State-San Marcos. Shelton went 7-0 for the season with a 1.86 ERA and did not give up a run and struck out 12 batters in nine and a third innings at the tournament.


Freshman Sean Weatherford also was an All-Tournament selection with a complete game victory over Southeastern Louisiana in the first round. Weatherford produced an 8-5 overall record this season with a 3.62 ERA. Other starters for the Kats are Brent Powers, Dallas Gallant and Jacob Howard. Guillaume Duguay, Ryan Tepera and Will Skelton also have performed well in relief.

 

COMEBACK KATS

Sam Houston has come from behind to win in 24 of their 36 victories this season. The Kats largest come-from-behind effort came in an 18-16 victory over Houston when SHSU overcame an eight-run deficit. In the final four innings of games this season, the Kats have outscored opponents 205-129. Sam Houston is 8-1 in extra inning games with a 24-10 run margin in extra play.


Five times this year, the Bearkats have won games with walk-off hits:

 * SHSU 4, Creighton 3 - Tyler Knight walk-off RBI single in 10th inning

 * SHSU 5, Creighton 4 - Tyler Knight walk-off RBI single in 11th inning

 * SHSU 8, NW St. 7 - Mark Wyatt walk-off RBI single in 11th inning

 * SHSU 16, TAMUCC 6 - Tyler Knight walk-off grand slam in 7th inning

 * SHSU 8, UTSA 6 - Mark Wyatt walk-off 2 RBI homer in 11th inning

 

BEARKATS WITH TWO OUTS

Sam Houston has scored nearly one-third of its 444 total runs with two outs during the 2009 season. The Bearkats have produced 141 RBIs with two outs this year. Tyler Knight leads the team with 24 two-out RBIs while Nick Zaleski has totaled 20. Fourteen of Sam Houston’s 31 runs in the Kats’ four victories at the Southland Conference tournament came with two out.

 

BRAEDEN RILEY NCAA DIVISION I HIT LEADER

For much of the 2009 season, second baseman Braeden Riley has led NCAA Division I baseball in total hits. Going into the NCAA Regional Riley has totaled 108 hits in 58 contests. That figure breaks both the SHSU and Southland Conference school records for hits in a season (103) set by Sam Houston’s Keith Stein in 64 games in 2007. Riley has produced 36 multiple hit games including a 16-game hitting streak this year.

 

Riley leads the nation by two hits heading into the Regional and teammate Nick Zaleski is 10th Here is the list of the top 17 players in the nation in total hits who are still playing in the postseason. Their overall national rank is listed to the left.

 

Rank

Name, Team

Cl

Pos

G

AB

H

1

Braeden Riley, Sam Houston St.

So.

INF

58

277

108

2

Bryce Brentz, Middle Tenn.

So.

OF

59

220

106

10

Nick Zaleski, Sam Houston St.

Sr.

OF

58

228

97

12

Trent Whitehead, East Carolina

So.

OF

58

250

95

18

Chris Henderson, George Mason

Jr.

C

54

226

94

 

Nathan Hines, Middle Tenn.

Sr.

OF

58

259

94

20

Rawley Bishop, Middle Tenn.

Sr.

INF

59

230

93

30

Dustin Ackley, North Carolina

Jr.

1B

58

228

91

 

Ryan Wood, East Carolina

Sr.

INF

59

235

91

33

Chase Austin, Elon

Jr.

INF

56

244

90

 

Matt Rice, Western Ky.

So.

C

56

229

90

38

Stephen Batts, East Carolina

Sr.

INF

59

242

89

 

Jeff Mercer, Wright St.

Sr.

INF

61

247

89

44

Alex Dickerson, Indiana

Fr.

OF

56

232

88

49

Chris Collazo, Monmouth

Sr.

INF

55

226

87

 

Chuck Opachich, Jacksonville

Jr.

INF

54

227

87

 

Kyle Seager, North Carolina

Jr.

2B

58

226

87

 

 

NICK ZALESKI AMONG SLC BATTING AVERAGE LEADERS.

Senior Nick Zaleski leads Sam Houston with a .425 batting average in 2009. He is one of only four Bearkats to hit .400 or more  in an NCAA Division I season. The other three were Kelly Eddleman (.416 , 1999), Terry Pirtle (.411, 1987) and Keith Stein (.404, 2007). Six Sam Houston players posted above .400 hitting seasons during the Bearkats’ NAIA and NCAA Division II eras -- Mike Holt (.489, 1968), Hootie Murray (.453, 1961), Glenn Wilson (.439, 1980), Jim Hughes (.433, 1955), Tommy Wendt (.428, 1977) and Richard Johnson (.409, 1983).

 

BEARKAT PITCHERS SET SLC MARK, ACHIEVE NCAA FIRST

Freshman Sean Weatherford and senior Guillaume Duguay combined to strike out 22 batters in Sam Houston’s 7-2 victory over Central Arkansas May 8. The broke the old SLC and SHSU marks of 20 strike outs in a game. Weatherford struck out 12 batters in five innings to earn the victory. Duguay fanned 10 in the final four innings for the save. Never before had two pitchers achieved double-digit “Ks” in a regulation nine-inning game. Two pitchers posted double-digit strike outs in an 18-inning game by Old Dominion in 2006.

 

ALL-SOUTHLAND TOURNAMENT BEARKATS

Catcher Mark Wyatt, outfielder Adam DeLaGarza and pitchers Sean Weatherford and Matt Shelton were all named to the Southland Conference All-Tournament team. Shelton was the event’s Most Valuable Player. Wyatt produced a two-run home run for the game-winner in the 11th inning of SHSU’s victory over UTSA. DeLaGarza hit .462 in the tournament.

 

ALL-SOUTHLAND CONFERENCE SAM HOUSTON PLAYERS

Four  Sam Houston State Bearkat baseball players earned All-Southland Conference honors in 2009. Braeden Riley, sophomore second baseman from Woodville, was a first team selection. Nick Zaleski, senior first baseman/outfielder from Sugar Land and freshman pitcher Sean Weatherford from Bryan were named to the All-SLC second team honor squad. Senior catcher Mark Wyatt from Houston was a third team selection.