Bearkats Finds Rhythm To Take Series From Warhawks
By Cheval John
Sam Houston State took the weekend series against the University of Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks with a 4-2 win on Saturday and a 7-3 victory on Sunday.
The Bearkat pitchers neutralized UL-Monroe’s dangerous hitter Corben Green in the rubber match as he went 0-3.
Green had a .500 batting average with three RBI’s in the first two games of the series.
“The key with Green is getting him with two strikes because he will chase a breaking ball if you get him there,” coach David Pierce said. “We froze him in his third at-bat because he was looking for the breaking ball. … I believe he was guessing because we were pitching ahead of him all day.
Green hit a two-out, RBI double that scored Dalton Herrington from third base to make it 1-0.
The Bearkats (3-4) had opportunities in the second and third innings to get on the board, but both times, they left runners on the base pads.
The third time was the charm as the Bearkats finally capitalized on their opportunity as they exploded for four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to take a 4-1 lead thanks to a pair of RBI singles by Ryan Farney, Luke Plucheck, Colt Atwood, and Carter Burgess.
Spence Rahm had a great series as he was the catalyst of getting things going for the Bearkats.
Rahm started the inning with a single and advanced to second on a Kevin Miller singled. to put runners on first and second.
He scored on Farney’s single.
Green’s RBI singled in the top of the sixth cut the lead to 4-2.
The Warhawks (4-3) had an opportunity to either tie the game or take the lead in the top of the seventh inning and ninth innings.
Though Chris Dudley struck out, a pass ball allowed him to reach first to lead off the seventh.
He advanced to second on another pass ball.
Kodie Tidwell issued with a walk to put runners on first and second with the possibility of tying the game.
David Abdalla followed with a bunt single to load the bases with no outs.
But starting pitcher Cody Dickson, who went the distance for the Kats and got his first win of the season, settled down and got the next three outs (strike out, foul out and ground out) to get out of the jam.
Dudley hit an infield single to lead off the ninth.
Dickson got Tidwell hit into a fielder’s choice and Abdalla to fly out for two outs, the Bearkats was not out of the woods as pinched-hitter Les Alexander got a base hit to put the tying run on first base.
But that as far as they would get as Dickson struck out Justin Fuller to preserve the win.
“I just went up there and threw strikes and let my defense do as much as possible,” Dickson said. “Overall, it was a great game and thankful to finally get another win.”
The Bearkats maintained their moment in the rubber game as they closed out the Warhawks 7-3.
The Kats was patient at the plate and fought off some pitches that allowed them to get to starting pitcher Trey Setzer, who lasted only 1 1/3 innings and suffered the loss.
“Our guys did a good job of staying in the middle of the field,” Pierce said.
SHSU was able to strike first in the bottom of the first inning when Carter Burgess scored from second on a throwing error by Tidwell to take a 1-0 lead.
Luke Plucheck’s RBI single to left field in the bottom of the second gave the Bearkats a 2-0 lead.
Ryan O’Hearn, who went three for four with an RBI, led off the inning with a double down the right field line and advanced to third on a pass ball and scored on Plucheck’s single.
The Warhawks responded in the top of the third inning when Jeff Fuller scored to cut the lead to 2-1 first run on a throwing error by catching Jesse Plumlee after trying to get Brandon Alexander at first when he laid down a bunt.
Fuller led off the top of the third with a single and advanced to second on a pass ball which allowed Alexander to advance to second.
He went to third on a sacrifice bunt by Logan Fiasco.
It seemed as if UL-Monroe was going to tie the game, but starting pitcher Andrew Godail, who went six innings with seven strike outs and got his first win of the year, settled down and struck out the next two batters to end the threat.
The Bearkats would give Godail some breathing room after they exploded for three runs in the bottom of the third to increase their lead to 5-1 thanks to a two-run double by Spence Rahm and an RBI single by Ryan O’Hearn.
The Warhawks cut the Bearkat lead to 5-3 in the top of the sixth thanks to a Judd Edward’s RBI double and David Abdalla’s RBI single.
UL-Monroe trailed the entire game, but they were not going to go down without a fight.
In the top of the seventh inning, Brandon Alexander led off with a double.
After reliever Jordan Church got Tidwell to ground out for the first out, Azar made up for the error and threw out Alexander at third to get the second out.
A few pitches later, Church struck out Logan Fiasco to get out of the jam.
SHSU added two more runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to increased their lead to 7-3 and held on for the victory.