Riding a three-game winning streak, the Bearkats welcome Arkansas State to Don Sanders Stadium for a weekend series starting Friday at 6:30 p.m.
Sam Houston (4-4) defeated the Texas Longhorns, 5-3, in Austin Tuesday after winning the final two games of their series against Louisiana-Monroe.
The Red Wolves (6-2) lost to top-five team Vanderbilt 7-3 on the road Tuesday. They’ve won series’ against Western Illinois and Bradley as well as a midweek extra-innings win over Memphis.
“Arkansas State is another team off to a good start,” said coach David Pierce. “We’ve got three more games (this weekend) that should be tough and challenging games. Arkansas State is a team that should finish in the top three of their league.”
FRIDAY: LHP Caleb Smith (0-2, 2.25 ERA) vs. RHP John Koch (0-1, 3.75 ERA)
SATURDAY: LHP Cody Dickson (1-1, 2.77 ERA) vs. RHP Daniel Wright (2-0, 1.93 ERA)
SUNDAY: LHP Andrew Godail (1-0, 3.27 ERA) vs. RHP Adam Grantham (1-0, 3.68 ERA)
The Bearkats have gotten some timely hits after starting their season 1-3 and losing games by one, two, and three runs each. In their four losses the Bearkats are batting just .100 with runners in scoring position. In wins, the team is hitting .365 with RISP.
Hayden Simerly has started six games as the designated hitter and leads the Kats with a .348 average. Simerly doubled to lead off the second inning against Texas and scored the first run after right fielder Ryan O’Hearn tripled.
Third baseman Kevin Miller and O’Hearn are each batting .333 with ten hits. O’Hearn has a double, a triple and five RBI while Miller has no extra-base hits and three RBI.
Freshman Spence Rahm is also hitting .333 in just three starts at first base. Rahm hit a solo homerun against Texas Tuesday night.
Luke Plucheck is leading the team in RBI with six. The left fielder started the season batting second in the order and had just one hit in the first two games. He has seven hits in the six games since moving to the ninth spot.
Caleb Smith has two losses to his name but has only allowed three runs in two starts. The lefty has a 2.25 ERA but has a team-high 12 walks in 12 innings of work.
Cody Dickson is coming off a complete game win over Louisiana-Monroe last weekend. Dickson allowed six walks in his first start of the season but issued just one free pass in the complete game win. Andrew Godail also got a win over ULM last weekend and has a 3.27 ERA.
Freshman reliever Logan Boyd allowed his first run of the season against Texas but has been dominant otherwise. Boyd has a 1.50 ERA in six innings with an impressive ten strikeouts. Jason Simms, who picked up a save against Texas, has 1.12 ERA in eight innings of relief.
The Red Wolves are led offensively by outfielder Logan Uxa with a .400 average, five doubles, a homerun, and eight runs driven in. Designated hitter Ryan Emery is batting .391 with three doubles and eight RBI.
Starters John Koch and Daniel Wright have each pitched games of seven innings. Koch struck out seven but gave up two runs to Western Illinois in a 2-1 loss. Wright got a 6-3 win after striking out eight and giving up two earned runs to the Leathernecks.
The series continues Saturday at 4 p.m. with the finale Sunday at 1 p.m.
Purchase your 2013 Bearkat Baseball Season Tickets for all 30 home games by calling 936-294-1729 or by visiting www.gobearkats.com. Single game tickets to each exciting home contest at Don Sanders Stadium are also available for purchase.