Sam Houston State baseball looks to get back on track in Southland play as they head to Northwestern State for a three-game weekend series starting Friday at 6:30 p.m.
The Bearkats (24-17, 9-6) have won their last three midweek games but have lost Southland series to Lamar and Oral Roberts. After losing four of six league games, they are tied for third in the standings with Southeastern Louisiana.
Northwestern State (11-30, 2-13) has yet to win a Southland series and has been swept three times. Their conference wins have come over Central Arkansas and A&M-Corpus Christi.
“All of our conference series are tough,” said Bearkat coach David Pierce. “Northwestern State has struggled this year but they are playing at home. I think if we prepare and approach the games with confidence we’ll do well.”
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
Friday: LHP Andrew Godail (4-2, 3.59 ERA) vs. Robert Baker (3-4, 4.29 ERA)
Saturday: RHP Tyler Eppler (3-2, 4.03 ERA) vs. Cody Butler (2-2, 4.41 ERA)
Sunday: LHP Caleb Smith (4-4, 3.60 ERA) vs. TBA
Left fielder Luke Plucheck has been the Bearkats hottest hitter recently and has taken over the team lead in RBI with 34. He has blasted six homeruns this season and leads the team in extra-base hits with 17.
Plucheck and designated hitter Hayden Simerly have gone back-and-forth as the team’s leading homerun hitters. Simerly regained the lead with seven homeruns after both players went deep Tuesday against UTA.
Third baseman Kevin Miller is batting .351 with 21 RBI and 27 runs scored. The senior is a singles machine with just three of his 53 hits going for extra-bases.
Tyler Eppler will make his first weekend start after of the season Saturday. The sophomore has started nine times in midweek games this year. Eppler has recorded wins over Houston, Rice, and Texas.
Reliever Jason Simms picked up his sixth save of the season Tuesday against UTA. The junir has a 3.66 ERA with 30 strikeouts and just 14 walks.
The Demons are led offensively by center fielder Will Watson with a .309 batting average and a team-high 18 RBI. The senior has six doubles, a triple and a homer.
The series continues Saturday at 2 p.m. with the series finale Sunday at 1 p.m.