Kats travel to No. 10 Rice Tuesday

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HUNTSVILLE, Texas -- Sam Houston will put their three-game winning streak against the No. 10 Rice Owls on the line Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. at Reckling Park. The Bearkats (7-1) swept two games against Rice (6-2) last season after knocking them out of the NCAA Houston Regional in 2012.

The Kats have lost just one game this season after starting 5-0 for just the fourth time in school history. After falling Friday night to Dallas Baptist, SHSU rallied to win the series against the Patriots with a 12-2 thumping Saturday and a 4-1 win Sunday.

Six Bearkat regulars are batting over .300 to help compile an impressive team batting average of .336.

First baseman Ryan O’Hearn brings a 10-game hitting streak into Tuesday’s contest. The junior out of Frisco has a hit in every game this season plus the final two games of last season. O’Hearn is batting .379 with two doubles and seven RBI.

Right fielder Hayden Simerly also has a hit in every ballgame this season. Simerly is hitting .517 with a double, a triple and seven runs batted in. Second baseman Ryan Farney leads the team in hitting with a .524 batting average. Farney has seven runs scored and seven RBI.

The Bearkat pitching staff has compiled a team ERA of 1.88 through eight games. Reliever Jason Simms has yet to allow a run in five innings of work with two saves. Freshman Sam Odom hasn’t allowed an earned run in 10 innings pitched over two outings. He registered a win in his only start of the season and a save in his only relief appearance.

Rice is led offensively by first baseman Skyler Ewing who is batting .485 with two doubles, three homers and 17 RBI.

The Owls are batting .301 as a team while the pitching staff has a team ERA of 3.08. Their only losses of the season have come against Stanford, who they took two-of-three from, and Houston last Tuesday.

Friday is the start of the highly anticipated Houston College Classic at Minute Maid Park. The Bearkats will play TCU Friday at 3:35 p.m., Texas Tech Saturday at 12:05 p.m. and Texas Sunday at 10:05 a.m.

Tickets for the College Classic are on sale through the Houston Astros at www.astros.com/collegeclassic. Sam Houston State fans should use the offer code “vipshsu” to receive the best deal.

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