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No. 5 Sam Houston Holds Off No. 1 Abilene Christian to Punch Title Game Ticket

Sam Houston Bearkats Baseball logo
Sam Houston Bearkats Baseball logo(KBTX)
Updated: May. 29, 2021 at 6:06 PM CDT
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HAMMOND, La. – No. 5 Sam Houston claimed the other spot in Saturday’s Southland Conference Baseball Tournament championship with a 15-13 triumph over No. 1 Abilene Christian on Saturday afternoon.

Each of the top seven hitters in the Bearkat lineup recorded at least one RBI, led by four for Gavin Johnson, and six of the seven recorded multiple hits. The group hit 16-for-33 (.485) on the day with all 14 RBI and all 15 runs.

The Bearkats continued to score early and often, getting on the board when Bryson Hill bobbled a bases loaded dribbler down the third-base line, allowing Bryce Holmes to score safely. Picking up an RBI on the play, Blake Faecher set a Southland Baseball Tournament record with his 12th of the week.

Following a sac fly from Gavin Johnson, Clayton Chadwick and Mason Schulz recorded back-to-back run-scoring singles to push the lead to 4-0. Over the last four games, SHSU has scored 14 runs in the opening frame.

Johnson produced two more RBI with a one-out single to center, and the Kats extended their advantage to seven after an errant attempt to throw out Jack Rogers taking third allowed him to touch home. In his second at-bat, Schulz repeated his first outcome with a second RBI single to give SHSU another four-spot in the second.

The Bearkats came right back with another multi-run inning, starting with a solo home run for Bryce Holmes, who became the seventh SHSU hitter to leave the yard in the tournament. On the ensuing at-bat, Colton Cowser drew a walk, stole second and came around to score on a single up the middle for Rogers. Chadwick capped off the third-straight four-run inning by roping a two-run double to the left-field corner.

The Wildcats continued to chip away at the lead with runs in each frame from the second-through-seventh innings, including three-spots in the second and fourth and culminating with a grand slam off the bat of Miller Ladusau to make it a two-run game.

However, the Bearkats’ pair of runs in the seventh served as the difference maker with Gavin Johnson doubling home Jack Rogers, setting the individual tournament record for runs scored with his 12th. Schulz also drew a bases-loaded walk to tack on another.

Steven Beard (1-2) got the win with 1.1 innings of one-run relief, and Spencer Chirpich (6-5) suffered the loss after giving up six runs on five hits in the opening frame. Lance Lusk (9) earned his second save of the tournament with a perfect ninth.