Kats Advance To SLC Tourney Title Round

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NATCHITOCHES, LA -- A bases loaded ground out by Austin Boggs scored Clint Mann for the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning as Sam Houston State advanced to the championship round of the 2007 Southland Conference baseball tournament with a 5-4 victory over SLC regular season champion Texas-San Antonio Friday night.

The loss eliminated UTSA from the tournament. Sam Houston State, the No. 4 seed, will play No. 3 seed Texas State-San Marcos at 1 p.m. Saturday. If the Bearkats win, they earn the league's NCAA playoff berth. The Bobcats must win twice over SHSU to earn the tournament title.

Tied 4-4 going into the bottom of the ninth, the Roadrunners walked the bases full, giving up base on balls to Mann, Bobby Verbick, and Karl Krailo. The run completed a come-from-behind effort that saw the Bearkats come from three runs down after going scoreless the first four innings.

Texas-San Antonio jumped out to an early 3-0 lead when left fielder Phillip Allen hit a three-run double in the top of the second inning.

With two out in the fifth inning, the Bearkats picked up their first run as Keith Stein, Bobby Verbick, and Karl Krailo hit consecutive singles with Krailo's smash to right field scoring Stein.

UTSA responded with a run in the top of the sixth on an RBI single by shortstop Marshall Davis.

The Bearkats knotted the game at 4-4 with three runs on five hits and two Roadrunner errors in the bottom of the sixth.

Nick Zaleski started the inning with a single and scored on Aaron Cook's double down the left field line. Heath Pugh singled, then reached second on an error in right field that scored Cook. Jeremy Holzbach singled and scored on an error by the second baseman after a single by Stein for the tying run.

Matt Fry pitched five and a third innings as the Bearkats' starter, giving up seven hits and striking out three. Stephen Price completed the sixth inning, striking out both batters he faced, then Luke Prihoda took the mound in the seventh. Prihoda struck out three batters and allowed only one hit as he faced 10 Roadrunners to earn the victory.