After struggling to get timely hits in the first game of the series against Dallas Baptist, the Sam Houston State baseball team exploded for 14 hits and several multi-run innings in a 12-2 win Saturday at Don Sanders Stadium. The Bearkat win sets up a big rubber game Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Don.
“It was a little shaky early but I thought our guys had some great at bats against a guy with good stuff. Their pitcher walked some guys but I think our guys caused a lot of it by being patient and only aggressive in the strike zone,” head coach David Pierce said. “We were able to piece a few innings together. We had a handful of guys with three hits and did a good job of staying with our approach.”
DBU opened the scoring in the top of the second but SHSU answered in a big way in the bottom half. With one out, left fielder Luke Plucheck doubled of the left field wall and second baseman Ryan Farney walked.
Center fielder Colt Atwood started the scoring with a single to right field that plated Plucheck. First baseman Ryan O’Hearn walked on four pitches to load the bases before a wild pitch allowed Farney to score.
A sacrifice fly by catcher Anthony Azar drove in the third runner and chased the Patriots’ starting pitcher from the game after just 1 2/3 innings. The reliever was greeted by an RBI-single into left center by Hayden Simerly.
Dallas Baptist got a run back in the top of the third when centerfielder Austin Listi crushed a solo home run over the left field wall.
Again the Bearkats immediately answered and added three more runs. Shortstop Corey Toups led off the frame with a single and a stolen base. Plucheck singled to right field to put runners on the corners and Farney dropped down a bunt to score Toups from third.
After Atwood reached on an error, O’Hearn ripped a double to right field to score Plucheck and Atwood and make the score 7-2.
The Kats added two runs apiece in the fourth and sixth innings and a final insurance run in the seventh inning.
“Tonight we just stayed with our approach better and last night we tried to do too much,” Toups said. “Last night’s loss was big, getting beat and coming back today just shows how tough we are as a team. Tomorrow will be big for us. This would be a really good series win.”
Starting pitcher Andrew Godail picked up his second win of the season after tossing five innings allowing two runs on just three hits.
Freshman Sam Odom came out of the bullpen to pitch four scoreless innings and pick up his first career save. He struck out six batters and walked just three.
“Sam is a great strike thrower and we didn’t want to mess around. I wanted to stay with him and I know we burned him but we need this game. When you’ve got a big lead and a strike thrower, that’s a good combination,” Pierce added.
Simerly and Plucheck each finished the game with three hits and an RBI. Atwood, O’Hearn and Toups all had two hits apiece. Farney had just one hit in the game but drove in three runs and scored one.