A five-run, fourth inning propelled the Sam Houston State (SHSU) Bearkat baseball team to a 6-3 victory over the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders and take the three game series.
The win improved their overall record to 31-12 and a Southland Conference (SLC) record to 19-5.
“The one thing that I really enjoy about this team is that they pick each other up and they understand their roles,” Bearkat head coach David Pierce said.
The Islanders (18-26, 10-14 SLC) tacked on 3 runs in the top of the third inning to take a 3-0 lead.
Santiago Ruiz scored their first run on a fielder’s choice play that made it 1-0.
Brad Porras followed with a two-run blast to left field that increased the lead to 3-0. It was only his second home run of the season.
It seemed as nothing was going the Bearkats way as starting pitcher Daniel Minor kept them at bay for the first three innings as he struck out five batters.
“I could see why he (Minor) is good,” Pierce said. “He is a four pitch guy that could really command it.
“He got great down hill angle on his fastball……he manages the running game.”
The Bearkats finally got to him in the bottom of the fourth inning and exploded for five runs to take a 5-3 lead.
Kevin Miller lined a two-run single up the middle to cut the lead to 3-2.
Two batters later, Ryan O’Hearn lined an RBI single to right field that tied the score at 3.
With the bases loaded, Ryan Farney lined a two run single to right field to give the Bearkats a 5-3 lead.
“I was really excited to have that opportunity to have the bases loaded…” Farney said. “I was ready to go and I got a pitch I liked and drove it.”
After avoiding near disaster that would have broke the game open for the Islanders in the top of the sixth and seventh innings, the Bearkats added an insurance run in the bottom of the eight inning to increase the lead to 6-3 and reliever Michael Burchett came into the ninth inning and get the final three outs to save it for the Bearkats.
Reliever Brandon Bergen pitched two innings and got his second win of the season while Minor suffered the loss for the Islanders.
The Bearkats will face Texas A&M Aggies on Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. at Don Sanders Stadium on the campus of SHSU.
It appeared as if lightning was going to strike twice today as the Texas A&M Corpus Christi Islanders were on their way to taking the series from the Sam Houston State Bearkat baseball team.
But the Bearkats had other ideas.
Left fielder Luke Plucheck scored the game-winning run from third on a balk by reliever Philip Garcia to help the Bearkats defeat the Islanders 8-7.
“They are a good team,” Plucheck said. “Their record doesn’t show what kind of team they are…nobody wants to play a last place team because they always have something to prove.”
“Coming out here and getting a great win like that, especially in the fashion that we had to do it, is huge.”
The Islanders (18-25 overall, 10-13 SLC) jumped out earlier in the game when designated hitter Jonathan Gonzales lined a 2-run shot over the left field fence to take an 2-0 lead. Left fielder Jordan Lee led off the game and reached first when he was hit by a pitch by starting pitcher Justin Jackson and scored on the home run.
The Bearkats (30-12 overall, 18-5 SLC) responded in the bottom of the first inning when third baseman Kevin Miller hit an RBI single to left field that scored center fielder Colt Atwood from second to cut the Islander lead to 2-1.
Atwood led off the inning with an infield single and reached second on a sacrifice bunt by left fielder Luke Plucheck.
The Islanders increased their lead to 3-1 in the top of the fourth inning on a sacrifice fly by center fielder Stafford Brantley.
First baseman Brad Porras led off the inning with a double to left field and advanced to third on a one out single by third baseman Westin Montgomery. Montgomery stole second base to take out the double play scenario and Porras scored from third on the sacrifice fly by Brantley.
The Kats finally capitalized and exploded for three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to lead it by the score of 4-3.
First baseman Ryan O’Hearn hit an RBI single to right field that allowed Plucheck to score from third base to pull within one.
On the next play, Miller scored the tying run on a fielder’s choice and right fielder Greg Olson laid down a perfect bunt that allowed designated hitter Jake Arrington to score the go-ahead run from third.
Olson was out on the play, but was credited with the RBI.
The lead did not hold up very long when the Islanders tied the game at 4 in the top of the seventh inning on a RBI single by short stop Drew Vest.
Then came the bottom of the seventh inning when catcher Shea Pierce led off with a single and advanced to second on a error by Vest that allowed Atwood to reach first. Then Plucheck drove the ball to centerfield that went over the head of Brantley that allowed both Pierce and Atwood to score. Montgomery couldn’t handle the relay throw and Plucheck took advantage of the situation and scored on the error.
The Islanders would not go away as Jordan Lee hit a two out, two-run single that went past a diving second baseman Jesse Plumlee to pull within a 7-6 score.
In the top of the ninth inning, Eric Weiss hit a double to left field that allowed Gonzales to score from second base to tie the game at 7.
The drama unfolded in the bottom of the ninth inning when Plucheck reached first after being hit by a pitch by reliever Tanner Green. He advanced to second on a wild pitch and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Miller.
They intentionally walked designated hitter Jake Arrington to try to set up a potential double play to get out of the inning and take the game to extras.
However, things did not go according to plan as Garcia, who came in relieve of Green to get a possible double play, was called for the balk that allowed Plucheck to score the game-winning run from third to end the game.
“I think right now, the Islanders are playing as well as they played all year…” head coach David Pierce said. “They’ve had very tough at-bats and fought us.”
“I tip my hat to our kids for staying focus and fighting back to get the win.”
The Bearkats used three pitchers in the game with reliever Michael Burchett picking up the win while Green suffered the loss for the Islanders.
The rubber match of the series concludes tomorrow at 1 p.m.
For a team that is in eighth place in the Southland Conference, the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders sure did not play like a team that has batted .234 and has scored a total of 143 runs for the year.
They went on to defeat the Sam Houston State Bearkats by the score of to take the first game of a three game series.
It was the first time since March 16 that the Bearkats lost the first game of a series.
The Bearkats (29-12 overall, 17-5 SLC) struck first in the bottom of the first inning on a two out, two-run single by third baseman Kevin Miller to make it 2-0.
Colt Atwood led off the bottom of the first inning with a single and advanced to third on a single by Ryan O’Hearn that went up the middle. O’Hearn stole second base after the strike out by designated hitter Anthony Azar to put runners in scoring position.
Both runners scored on Miller’s single.
Eric Weiss reached first on an error by short stop Corey Toups with one out in the top of the fourth inning. That was the first base.runner that reached base all game. However, starting pitching Caleb Smith got the next two outs to end the inning.
It seemed as if Smith was on his way to pitch a no-hitter as in the first four innings, he struck out four and got most of the outs on either fly outs or ground outs.
But the Islanders (16-24 overall, 9-12 SLC) had something to say about it in the top of the fifth inning as they exploded for three runs to take their first lead 3-2.
Brad Porras started the rally when he hit a home run that went over the scoreboard that cut the Bearkat lead to 2-1.
They would score two more runs on a RBI single by Westin Montgomery and a sacrifice fly by Eric Weiss that gave the Islanders the lead.
The Bearkats had something going in the bottom of the fifth inning when both Atwood and O’Hearn each drew a walk. Both runners advanced to second and third, respectively on a ground out by Azar.
But starting pitcher Trevor Foss got the next two outs to end the threat.
The Islanders capitalized and extend their lead to 4-2 on a RBI double by Porras that hit off the center field wall.
They added another run in the top of the seventh inning to increase their lead to 5-2.
The Bearkats had their best chance in the bottom of the seventh inning when Toups led off with a walk and advanced to second on a single by Atwood that drop in front of center fielder Weiss.
However, the Islanders got the next three outs to get out of the jam and end the Bearkat threat.
The Bearkats left a total of 9 runners on base and the 3-4-5 hitters went 1 for 12 in the game.
“We left some guys in scoring position,” head coach David Pierce said. “We struggled in the middle of the line up tonight.”
“He (Foss) had a good breaking ball and we had a hard time laying off of it. We’ll learn from it and move on.”
Foss pitched six total innings and got his first win of the season while Smith took the loss. Reliever Philip Garcia got his fifth save of the season.
The second game of the series will start at 4 p.m. on Saturday.
In a double-header game that was full of contrast, the Sam Houston State Bearkat softball team swept Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders by the scores of 1-0 and 8-2.
With the sweep, the Bearkats have won 23 out of 27 games after starting the season at 1-13 and are second in the Southland Conference.
“We were picked to finish eighth in the conference at the beginning of the year,” Ashlee Isbell said. “We just come out and show everybody that were better than that.”
Allysa Coggins’ go-ahead, game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the fourth inning gave the Bearkats a 1-0 win in the first game of the double-header.
It was their fifth straight shutout win for the Bearkats and in the process, ended the Islanders’ six game conference winning streak
“I saw that up the middle was pretty open,” Coggins said. “It was a pitch a little bit in and I just took it up the middle and luckily it went through the whole.”
The Bearkats bats was silent throughout the game as starting pitcher Greta Cecchetti kept them off balance with her rise ball and changed up.
“Greta is the real deal,” head coach Bob Brock said. “She did a nice job and pitched a really good game.”
The Islanders (16-18, 10-6 SLC) had something going in the top of the second inning when Jamie Jackson led off with a single. Stephanie Vead and Megan McKinney each followed with a single to load the bases.
However, starting pitcher Tomi Garrison settled down and strike out the next two batters and got Hayley Galloway to ground out to end the threat.
“I was thinking in my head, ‘I can’t let anybody score in this game,’ Garrison said.
The Bearkats (24-17, 12-4 SLC) had their chance in the bottom of the third inning when Erin Burford hit a single past third baseman Cassie Carroll to lead off the third inning. Jessica Slater pinch ran for Burford and advanced to second on a bloop single by designated hitter Kim Damian that landed in between McKinney and Galloway.
Tori Benavidez reached first on a fielder’s and Sarah Allison was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
But Cecchetti got Hillary Adams to fly out to get out of the jam.
The Bearkats got another opportunity in the bottom of the fourth inning when Isbell walked with one out in the inning.
She advanced to second on a wild pitch by Cechetti and to third on a throwing error by Mickayla Heller. She scored the game winning run on Coggins’ single that made it 1-0.
The play of the game happened in the top of the sixth inning when Carroll hit a single to right field and Alejia Cain, who tried to score from second was thrown out at home plate by Burford to preserve the lead.
The Islanders made one last push in the top of the seventh when Cain led off with a single. But Garrison settled down and got the outs she needed to seal the win for the Kats.
Garrison went the distance and got her ninth win of the season. She struck out five batters and gave up nine hits.
Cecchetti was hit with the loss for the Islanders. She struck out nine total batters and gave up five hits.
The bats came alive in the second game of the double header as the long ball propeled the Bearkats to complete the sweep of the Islanders by the score of 8-2.
The Bearkats exploded for four runs in the bottom of the first inning to make it 4-0.
All of the runs came with two outs in the inning on third baseman Shelbi Tucker’s three-run home run over the scoreboard, which was her 10th of the season. Isbell score the fourth run when she stole home plate.
The onslaught continued in the bottom of the second inning when Damian blasted a two-run home run over right center field to increase the lead to 6-0. The home run was her ninth of the season.
The Islanders finally scored their first run of the game on a RBI ground out by Gollaway to make it 6-1.
They kept chipping away when Heller hit an RBI bloop single to left field in the top of the fourth inning that made it 6-2.
But that would be all that they would muster as the Bearkats added two more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to increase the lead to 8-2 on Adams’ eighth home run of the season and Burford’s RBI single.
Starting pitcher Shelby Lancaster went the distance and got her tenth win of the season. She only gave up one run on five hits.
The Bearkats goes on the road this weekend as they face UT-Arlington in a two-game series that begins on Friday.
The Sam Houston State Bearkats softball team continued from where they left off as they swept the Southeastern Lousiana Lions in a double header by the scores of 3-0 and 1-0.
The sweep gave them four straight shut victories, began on Wednesday after they swept Prarie View in the double header by scores of 3-0 and 9-0.
“I really like our intensity right now,” head softball coach Bob Brock said. “I think that we learned that going earlier in the year at 1-13.”
In the first game, the Bearkats (22-17, 10-4 SLC) shut out the Lions 3-0.
Catcher Ashlee Isbell’s two out, home run to right center in the bottom of the second inning gave the Bearkats a 1-0 lead. It was her fourth of the season.
Right fielder Erin Burford’s RBI double to left field increased the Bearkat lead to 2-0.
The Bearkats added another run in the bottom of the sixth inning to make it 3-0.
Second baseman Alyssa Coggins hit a single to left field that allowed left fielder Callie Wood to score from second base.
Wood had an infield single with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning and advanced to second on a single by Burford.
Tomi Garrison went the distance and got her eight win of the season. She struck out seven and gave up four hits.
Starting pitcher Shelby Lancaster threw a no-hitter in the second game of the double-header that gave the Bearkats a 1-0 win.
It was the first no-hitter by a Bearkat pitcher since 2010.
“I was really comfortable out there and I felt good,” Lancaster said. ‘I knew that I had to hit my spots…the defense was doing pretty well on the ground balls.”
The Lions (10-31, 2-12 SLC) was looking to add their first run in the top of the second when first baseman Ariell Van Hook reached second base with out after short stop Sarah Allison dropped the fly ball.
Van Hook advanced to third on a ground out by designated hitter Jessica Browne.
But Lancaster got left fielder Katie Matthews to ground out to end the threat.
Designated hitter Hillary Adams led off the bottom of the second with a single and advanced to second on a error by Van Hook.
The Bearkats could not capitalized as starting pitcher Vicki Honeycutt got the next three batters to end the inning.
The Bearkats had another opportunity in the bottom of the third when first baseman Alyssa Gregg reached first with one out after she was a hit by a pitch by Honeycutt.
However, Benavidez struck out and Gregg was caught stealing at second base to get the Lions out of the jam.
The Lions was looking to capitalize in the top of the sixth inning when third baseman Trish Bliss reached first with one out in the top of the sixth inning on an error by Coggins.
She advanced to second on a ground out by center fielder Michelle Duhe.
But second baseman Megan McCollum lined out to Gregg to end the threat.
“I felt like the way Shelby (Lancaster) was pitching today, we needed one run,” Brock said.
The Bearkats finally came through in the bottom of the sixth inning when Allison hit a sacrifice fly to right field that allowed pinch runner Amy Pelton to score from third base to give them a 1-0 lead.
Burford led off the bottom of the sixth inning with a walk. Pelton pinched ran for Burford and advanced to second on a walk to pinch hitter Jessica Slater. Both runners advanced to second and third, respectively on a single by pinch hitter Kim Damian to load the bases.
“I knew that I was underneath the ball all day,” Allison said. “I wasn’t too worried about it because all I had to do was get it high enough and deep enough….I was ready for it.”
Lancaster got the final three outs in the top of the seventh inning to get her ninth win of the season.
The Bearkats will face their toughest test of the season when they play host to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders in a double-header on Tuesday.