HOUSTON – The Sam Houston State offense erupted for 10 extra-base hits and 17 runs to clinch the series with a 17-5 win over Houston Baptist on Saturday afternoon at Husky Field.
The Bearkats (9-3, 2-0 SLC) won their fourth game in a row on a day that saw four players finish with multiple hits, including a big day from Riley McKnight who had a grand slam and was just a triple shy of the cycle.
Sam Houston trailed 3-1 before exploding for eight runs in the fourth inning and four more in the fifth to blow the game open. In addition to McKnight’s grand slam, Jack Rogers and Reese Johnson also added home runs.
Riley Gossett picked up the win to move to 2-1 on the season with 3.1 scoreless innings of relief, striking out a pair. Cody Wolf went the final 2.1 innings to finish it out as the fifth Bearkat arm of the day to combine for eight punchouts without a walk.
For HBU (4-10, 0-2 SLC), Brady Batten took the loss to fall to 0-2 with 3.2 innings of work, allowing nine earned runs in that span.
The Bearkats will go for the series sweep on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. against the Huskies before heading to Ruston, La., for two midweek games at Louisiana Tech on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Jack Rogers homered to lead off the game for the Kats, but HBU’s Johnny Gonzales answered with a solo shot of his own in the bottom of the inning off of Bearkat starter Seth Ballew. Husky starter Brady Batten then retired each of the next nine hitters he faced and got the advantage of a 3-1 lead in the third. Consecutive singles by Anthony Jones and Trent Franson put the first two Huskies of the inning on base, and after a sacrifice bunt the Huskies went in front on an RBI ground out off the bat of Gonzales. One batter later Brandon Bena made it a 3-1 score with a sure RBI double into the left-field corner.
That lead was short-lived as one inning later the Bearkats sent 12 hitters to the plate and erupted for eight runs, using four extra-base hits to their favor. McKnight had two of those, including a leadoff double on the first pitch of the inning and later a grand slam to blow the game open. In between the Kats got an RBI double from Hearn and an RBI single from Harp, in addition to a two-run double by Gavin Johnson.
Sam Houston added on an inning later with Jordan Cannon delivering a two-run triple just three batters into the inning to score both Hearn and Harp to push the lead to 11-3. Kyle Moos then delivered an RBI single in his first at-bat of the day and Diego Davila tacked on another by slamming an RBI double off the left-center field wall to score Moos and make it a 13-3 game.
HBU used a pair of Bearkat errors to get two runs back in the sixth, but Sam Houston immediately answered with three runs of their own in the seventh. Reese Johnson delivered the inning’s big hit, launching a two-run homer, his first of the season, to right field. Three batters later Colton Cowser brought home another run with a double off the center field wall to score McKnight.