Kats drop first game of the season 5-1 to DBU

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HUNTSVILLE, Texas -- The Bearkats managed just one run on 10 hits as they lost their first game of the season, 5-1 to Dallas Baptist Friday at Don Sanders Stadium. Sam Houston State struggled to string hits together throughout the game, getting back-to-back hits just once.

Dallas Baptist capitalized on defensive lapses and free passes from the SHSU pitching staff. The Kats committed two errors in the game and had a passed ball that led to a run.

“Early in the game we gave them a big passed ball and we had the force play at third where we dropped the ball. Instead of it being a 2-1 game late in the game and having a chance to win it, we were fighting for our lives to just create base runners and stay in it,” head coach David Pierce said. “They just played better than us tonight and they deserved to win.”

Paul Voelker was solid on the mound for the Patriots, tossing seven innings and striking out six batters. Brandon Koch pitched two scoreless innings to close out the Kats.

Bearkat starter Tyler Eppler only managed 4 1/3 innings, walking four and giving up four runs. Dylan Ebbs allowed just one run in three innings out of the bullpen. Nolan Riggs tossed a scoreless final 1 2/3 innings with three strikeouts.

The only run of the game for the Bearkats came in the fifth inning when junior second baseman Ryan Farney led off with a single to center field. After Farney stole second, junior right fielder Hayden Simerly ripped a two-out single to center to score Farney.

The Kats had an opportunity to get Simerly back to the plate as the tying run in the ninth inning but he was left standing on deck as center fielder Colt Atwood struck out to end the game.

“With Simerly on deck we were just trying to get him to the plate. He can go yard at any time. That was definitely our focus, just to chip away on base runner at a time and we were close to getting him up there. It just didn’t work out tonight,” Farney said.

DBU broke the deadlock with two runs in the third inning and then plated a run each in the fourth, fifth and seventh innings.

Farney finished the game 2-for-3 with the lone run scored. Center fielder Colt Atwood and shortstop Corey Toups each had two hits in the game.

“This would be a big series for us to win. We need to come back out here tomorrow and I think our guys will be ready. We’re not going to sulk about this and we’re going to play hard tomorrow,” Farney added.

First pitch for Saturday’s game is scheduled for 4 p.m. at Don Sanders Stadium and the series finale is Sunday at 1 p.m.

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