Bearkat Baseball Team Faces Critical Series With Northwestern State Demons In Louisiana

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NATCHITOCHES, LA -- Seeking to get back into the top six in the Southland Conference standings and earn their first league post-season tournament trip since the 2000 season, the Sam Houston State baseball team faces an important series with the Northwestern State Demons this weekend.

Action begins Friday at 6:30 p.m. Sam Houston brings a 27-19 season mark and an 11-10 Southland record into the contest. Northwestern State stands 21-23 on the year and 11-9 in league action.

Texas-San Antonio swept the Bearkats in a three-game series last weekend to drop Sam Houston into fourth place in the West Division. SHSU is tied for seventh with Southeastern Louisiana in the overall league rankings.

The two division winners plus the next four best records regardless of
divisions earn spots in the tournament May 23-26 in Natchitoches.

"The good thing is that our fate is still in our own hands. Our final three
Southland series are all against teams that we are competing with for a
berth in the tournament," SHSU head coach Mark Johnson said.

Following the Northwestern State series, SHSU will host Southeastern
Louisiana at Don Sanders Staduim then end the regular season at Nacogdoches against Stephen F. Austin. The Lumberjacks stand just one game ahead of the Bearkats in the West standings with a 12-9 league mark.

Sam Houston State will be seeking to eliminate mistakes. Only seven of
UTSA's 17 runs in last weekend's series were earned.

The Bearkats are hitting .320 as a team with Keith Stein (.411), Bobby
Verbick (.389), Karl Krailo (.360), and Todd Sebek (.316)

Sam Houston's pitching rotation will be Jacob Howard, Jesse Marshall, and Jon Lindenberger. Tim Gray, who has started 11 games this season for the Bearkats, will be ulitized as a middle inning relief pitcher.