SUGAR LAND - A bloop RBI-single in the bottom of the ninth inning ended the Sam Houston State baseball team’s season as Incarnate Word walked off with a 3-2 victory at Constellation Field in an elimination game at the Southland Conference Tournament Thursday.

The top-seeded Bearkats (31-25) were knocked out of the tournament in two games for the first time since 1994. Eighth-seeded Texas A&M-Corpus Christi topped Sam Houston State 2-1 in the opener Wednesday afternoon.

The Bearkats trailed 2-1 for most of Thursday’s game until they rallied to tie it in the eighth on back-to-back doubles by senior Hunter Hearn and sophomore Jack Rogers.

A stroke of bad luck in the ninth cost Sam Houston the game.

UIW’s No. 7 hitter Shea Gutierrez, who entered the game hitting .236, led off with a single, his third hit of the day, and stole second base with one out. He came around to score when freshman Michael Garza flared a ball over first base into right field that just missed going foul for a single to end it.

The Bearkats got on the board right out of the gate. Hearn poked a single through the middle to score freshman Colton Cowser, who reached on a fielder’s choice with one out in the first.

The Cardinals (36-21) tied the game with an unearned run in the bottom of the fourth. Senior Ryan Gonzalez led off with a single, and sophomore Ryan Flores reached on a catcher’s interference call. Both runners advanced on a flyout to center field, and Gonzalez scored on a wild pitch by Kats’ starter Nick Mikolajchak, just his second of the season.

The Bearkats left two runners stranded in the fourth after a pair of singles by Rogers and freshman Diego Davila, and again in the fifth when Cowser singled and senior Clayton Harp walked.

Sam Houston just couldn’t find a hole until Roger’s double in the eighth as Cardinals’ starter Bernie Martinez squashed the previous scoring threats. He got a huge assist in the seventh from Garza who made a sliding catch in right field to rob Cowser of extra bases and turned it into a double play by throwing out senior Jordan Cannon trying to get back to first base.

UIW took the lead at 2-1 in the fifth when senior Eddie Gonzalez ripped an RBI double into the right-field corner.

Mikolajchak was solid on the mound for seven innings. He gave up one earned run and finished with seven strikeouts. Sophomore Cole Wesneski pitched a perfect eighth but took the loss after giving up the run in the ninth to fall to 1-2.

Sam Houston State left nine runners on base.