First baseman Ryan O’Hearn blasted a pair of three-run home runs as the Sam Houston baseball team routed Stephen F. Austin 12-1 in eight innings Saturday. The Bearkats (33-14, 15-8 SLC) will go for the sweep and an eighth consecutive win Sunday at 1:00 p.m.
“It felt really good. Lately I feel like I’ve been hitting a lot of balls right at people and guys have been making good plays. Not a lot of baseballs have been dropping in for me but today it was good to get some RBIs and some hits,” O’Hearn said following his second multi-homer game of the season.
After the Kats allowed an unearned run in the top of the first, O’Hearn stepped to the plate with designated hitter Hayden Simerly and catcher Anthony Azar on base. The junior infielder crushed a 3-1 pitch over the right field wall to give SHSU a 3-1 lead.
Then in the eighth inning Simerly and center fielder Colt Atwood each singled ahead of O’Hearn, who proceeded to hammer his second blast of the game. The homer gave Sam Houston an 11-run lead and ended the game early.
O’Hearn finished the game 2-for-4 with six RBI and three runs scored.
Starting pitcher Jason Simms struggled a little in the first inning, allowing a pair of singles. The Kats could have been out of the inning when Simms induced a double-play groundball but an error extended the inning. SFA scored on a sacrifice fly.
“I really settled in after that first inning,” said Simms. “I started making my pitches. I noticed they were reaching out on everything and I just let my ball work for the most part. I let my defense work and they made some great plays today.”
Lumberjack first baseman Dan O’Neill singled to lead off the second inning but was promptly erased on a 4-6-3 double play. Simms wouldn’t allow another base runner until the seventh inning. The senior righty retired 14 straight SFA hitters at one point. Simms struck out two and walked just one batter in the game.
Simerly also had an outstanding day at the plate for the Kats, going 4-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBI. Atwood was 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Left fielder Luke Plucheck drove in a pair of runs with a single in the third inning. Sam Houston scored three runs in each the first, third, sixth and eighth innings.
The Bearkats’ currently have a seven-game winning streak, the longest of the season so far.