HUNTSVILLE -- With Southland Conference action just around the corner, the Sam Houston State baseball team will host Houston on Wednesday night at Don Sanders Stadium.
For the Bearkats, it will be their sixth game in a nine-game home stand, which will conclude this weekend with the Southland Conference opening series against Central Arkansas.
The Cougars currently stand at 8-5 on the season and will be taking on Stephen F. Austin Tuesday night in Houston. The Kats will enter the game with a 9-5 record including a 4-2 home mark.
Donnie Joseph (0-0, 5.06 ERA) is scheduled to start the game on the mound for the Cougars. The lefty will be making his second start of the season and sixth appearance overall. In 7 2/3 innings of work, Joseph has allowed five earned runs, nine walks while striking out five hitters.
The Cougars come in winners of four of their last five games. The one common opponent for the two teams is Texas State. Houston beat the Bobcats 8-1, while the Bobcats picked up a 5-4 win over SHSU in the season opening tournament at Texas-Pan American.
The Kats won three of five this past weekend splitting games on Saturday and Sunday against South Dakota State and Texas Pan Am. They won Friday night against Saint Louis.
Freshman Cody Springer (0-0, 1.50 ERA) will be on the hill for the Kats. This will be the second start of the season for Springer and his fourth appearance of the year. He has allowed six runs this season, but just one of those was earned, also recording five strikeouts and six walks. The right-hander from Montgomery made his first collegiate start last week against No. 6 Rice, lasting 1 1/3 innings, giving up five runs, one earned while walking three. The Bearkats went on to win the game 13-12.
For the Bearkat hitters, Todd Sebek leads the charge as he looks to extend his hitting streak to 16 games. He has hit safely in all 14 games this . The last time Sebek failed to get a hit was in the Bearkats 11-inning victory against Southern Miss last season in the NCAA Regionals. This year he carries a .388 batting average.
Sebek isn’t the only Bearkat hitter getting involved in the offense early on in the season. As a team SHSU is hitting .360 with 16 home runs. All American Bobby Verbick is leading the Kats in almost every offensive category, including home runs (7), RBI (22), slugging (.941) and runs (18). He has also drawn 14 walks already this season including five intentionally.
Verbick’s .422 batting average is third best on the team and tops among players who have appeared in at least 10 games this season. In all, nine players are hitting better than .300 this year.
The game is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m.