Two teams riding win streaks go head-to-head for a three-game weekend series as Sam Houston hosts Connecticut at Don Sanders Stadium starting Friday night at 6:30 p.m.
The Bearkats (7-5) have won three straight after Wednesday’s 3-0 win at No. 19 Rice. Sam Houston now has wins over Texas and Rice this season.
Connecticut (6-3) boasts a five-game winning streak after playing in a pair of weekend tournaments. The Huskies beat Troy and Texas Tech in a tourney at Central Florida in February. Last weekend UConn knocked off Ohio State, Central Michigan and hosts Stetson.
UConn and Sam Houston are meeting for the first time. This is only the second Big East opponent the Kats have played after a 9-5 home loss to St. Johns in 2004.
“Connecticut has been good in the past and they’ve been good for a while,” said coach David Pierce. “They are considered to be one of the top teams in the Northeast along with St. Johns. They’ve got really good starting pitching and their second baseman is a first-team All-American.”
Friday: LHP Caleb Smith (0-2, 1.96 ERA) vs. LHP Anthony Marzi (1-2, 6.59 ERA)
Saturday: LHP Cody Dickson (2-1, 2.29 ERA) vs. RHP Carson Cross (2-0, 1.89 ERA)
Sunday: LHP Andrew Godail (2-0, 2.35 ERA) vs. LHP Brian Ward (1-1, 2.25 ERA)
Wednesday the Kats were led by a strong relief outing from Jason Simms who pitched four scoreless innings allowing just four hits and striking out seven batters. The right hander was credited with the save.
Catcher Jessie Plumlee started the scoring by blasting a homerun over the leftfield wall to lead off the third inning, the first of his Bearkat career.
The Owls used eight different pitchers in the game. Starter Connor Mason pitched three innings and gave up the first two runs on three hits. The Owl staff struck out 12 and walked five.
Second baseman Ryan Farney is leading the Kats in hitting with a .333 average and runs scored with nine. Shortstop Carter Burgess is batting .326 and leads the team in extra-base hits with five doubles and two triples. Designated hitter and outfielder Hayden Simerly is batting .316 and has a team-leading eight runs driven in.
Friday night starter Caleb Smith has yet to pick up a win but holds a 1.96 ERA in 18 1/3 innings. He has team-highs in both strikeouts (21) and walks (17). Cody Dickson is 2-1 with a 2.29 ERA in a team-high 19 2/3 innings. Andrew Godail is 2-0 with a 2.35 ERA after leaving last Sunday’s game with a minor injury.
The Huskies are led by second baseman LJ Mazzilli with a team-high .415 average with nine runs and eight RBI. Left fielder Eric Yavarone is riding a nine-game hitting streak and holds a .385 average with a team-high nine RBI.
Saturday starter Carson Cross is 2-0 with a 1.89 earned run average, while holding opponents to a .183 batting average to go with 15 strikeouts.
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.