Huntsville – A balk by relief pitcher Phillip Garcia brought in the winning run as Sam Houston State rallied for an 8-7 Southland Conference baseball victory over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Saturday afternoon at Don Sanders Stadium.
The Islanders tied the game in the top of the ninth on an RBI double by Eric Weiss. Left fielder Luke Plucheck was hit by a pitch to start the bottom of the ninth, reached second on a wild pitch and was sacrificed to third to set up the score on the balk.
The victory for Sam Houston (30-12, 18-5) evened the series at one game apiece. The pair will complete the three game series Sunday at 1 p.m.
The Islanders jumped in front 2-0 in the top of the first inning as lead-off hitter Jordan Lee was hit by a pitch and designated hitter Jon Gonzales parked his eighth home run of the year over the left field fence.
The Bearkats got one run back in the bottom of the first as centerfielder Colt Atwood single, was sacrificed to second and scored on an RBI single by third baseman Kevin Miller.
First baseman Brad Porras led off the fourth inning with a double to right then scored on a sacrifice fly by Stafford Brantley to extend the Islanders’ lead to 3-1.
Left fielder Luke Plucheck and Miller led off the bottom of the sixth with back-to-back singles and designated hitter Jake Arrington was hit by a pitch to load the bases. First baseman Ryan O’Hearn singled to score Plucheck, Miller scored on a ground ball by shortstop Cory Toups and Arrington tallied on a sacrifice bunt by right fielder Greg Olson to put the Kats up 4-3.
A&M-Corpus Christi tied the game in the top of the seventh as catcher Santiago Ruiz was hit by a pitcher, reached second on a wild pitch then scored on a single by shortstop Drew Vest.
Plucheck’s triple drove in catcher Shea Pierce who singled and Atwood who reached on a fielder’s choice. Plucheck himself scored on a bad throw from center field as the Kats went back in the lead in the bottom of the seventh.
The Islanders got two runs back in the top of the eighth on a two-run single by left fielder Jordan Lee. In the top of the ninth right fielder Eric Weiss slammed an RBI double to left center to tie the contest 7-7.
Michael Burchett (2-1) was the winning pitcher for Sam Houston in relief.