Longhorns edge Bearkats in Austin

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AUSTIN – A four-run fifth inning was too much for the Sam Houston State baseball team to overcome on Tuesday night as they fell, 4-1, to the Texas Longhorns at Disch-Falk Field.

The Kats (5-2) scratched across a run in the opening frame and got a quality start from junior Jack Rogers, but Texas (9-0) was able to string together five of their seven hits on the night in the fifth inning and turned it over to their pitching staff from there.

It was the first career start for Rogers on the mound and he was strong through 4.0 frames, striking out three and allowing just two base runners; however, he surrendered two singles to open the fifth before being removed, both coming in to score later in the inning, saddling him with the loss.

Texas, meanwhile, turned to freshman Pete Hansen to start the game and the lefty was solid, striking out six in 5.0 innings while Andre Duplantier II picked up his first career save with three strikeouts in 1.2 innings of relief.

The Kats were able to get out in front with a run in the first inning for the fourth straight game, taking advantage of an early Longhorn miscue. Cowser was able to reach on a dropped fly ball by UT center fielder Duke Ellis and four batters later Bryce Holmes was able to cash in with his first of three hits in the game, a 2-out RBI single into left field to give the Kats an early 1-0 lead.

But Hansen got in a groove after that hit, setting down the next 12 Kats to come up before exiting after 5.0 frames. Rogers, however, had him matched and punched out three with just one hit allowed thru his first 4.0 innings before running into a road block in the fifth.

The Longhorns were able to get back-to-back singles kick start the frame, prompting the Kats go to the bullpen for Cole Wesneski. But Texas was able to keep things going and tied it up on an RBI grounder from Murphy Stehly. Austin Todd then gave the Horns the lead with an RBI single of his own and two batters later Zach Zubia gave UT some breathing room, capping a 4-run frame with a 2-run single to right field.

Sam Houston tried to mount a threat an inning later with a single by Cowser and a walk to Corbin Vines with one away, but Longhorn reliever Kolby Kubichek was able to follow that up with a strikeout and ground out to keep the Kats at arm's length.

After Landon Ausley struck out the side in the bottom of the eighth, the Bearkat offense worked its way into a possible game-tying situation with a double from Rogers and a single from Holmes. But Duplantier got a strikeout of pinch hitter Blake Faecher before getting Gavin Johnson to ground out, ending the threat and the game.

The Kats will stay on the road for a key weekend series across the Louisiana border when they travel to Lafayette to take on the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns at Tigue Moore Field at Russo Park. The series will begin on Friday night at 6 p.m. at The Tigue.