HUNTSVILLE, Texas -- Sam Houston State will put their nine-game winning streak on the line for a crucial weekend series at Southeastern Louisiana. First pitch for game one is scheduled for Friday at 6:30 p.m.
The No. 28 Bearkats (31-17, 15-6) sit in first place in the Southland Conference and are just two games ahead of three teams tied for second. SHSU jumped into the NCAA Division I top 30 in the Collegiate Baseball Newpaper's weekly rankings.
The Lions (30-19, 13-8) took two-of-three games from Central Arkansas last weekend before being shut out, 9-0, by nationally ranked South Alabama. SLU is tied for second in the league with A&M-Corpus Christi and Oral Roberts.
“Southeastern pitches well and they play well at home,” said Bearkat head coach David Pierce. “They try to create offense and so our nemesis is their strength. They want the base-on-balls and the hit-by-pitch so I think if we throw strikes we’ll do very well.”
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
Friday: LHP Cody Dickson (7-4, 5.13 ERA) vs. Andro Cutura (1-2, 4.44 ERA)
Saturday: LHP Caleb Smith (6-4, 3.22 ERA) vs. Tate Scioneaux (6-1, 3.55 ERA)
Sunday: TBA vs. TBA
Third baseman Kevin Miller is one of the leading hitters in the Southland with a .354 batting average in 47 games. The senior has a team-high 63 hits to go with 34 runs scored and 28 RBI. Miller has been a singles machine with just six of his 63 hits going for extra bases.
Senior Jessie Plumlee has been the ultimate utility man in his Sam Houston career. This season he has started at second, catcher, and most recently first base. Plumlee has led off and played first base in the Bearkats last eight games.
Left fielder Luke Plucheck is the Bearkats leading run producer with 39 RBI. The junior is batting .309 with seven homeruns, second only to Hayden Simerly, and a team-high four triples.
Catcher Anthony Azar is batting .300 with 36 runs driven in and a team-high 15 doubles. He is also yet to commit an error in 44 games started this season.
“I’m very excited about where the team is right now,” Pierce said. “We really feel like the offense is gelling together. We have been really aggressive and we’ve been able to put pressure on the other team’s defense.”
Reliever Jason Simms picked up his seventh save of the season in the 2-1 win over UTSA. He has a 3.25 ERA in 21 appearances with 33 strikeouts to 16 walks. Michael Burchett has pitched in 19 games and has recorded four saves. Lefty Alan Scott has a 0.53 ERA and registered his first save of the season in Saturday’s win.
Designated hitter and catcher Jameson Fisher leads the team in hitting with a .322 average, 33 runs scored, and 22 RBI. Fisher has a team-high 11 RBI and is tied for the team lead with three homers. Outfielder Harry Slade is batting .315 with 33 runs driven in.
The Lions have a pair of relievers with seven saves each. Mason Klotz and Dylan Hills each have an ERA under four while Klotz has over 30 strikeouts.
The series continues Saturday at 2 p.m. and concludes Sunday at 1 p.m.
The Bearkats will close out the regular season at home against Central Arkansas, May 16-18.