Houston’s Pitching Dominates In 5-2 Win Over Sam Houston
By Cheval John
The Houston Cougars was leading 3-2 in the top of the eight inning and had two outs.
They were able to tacked on two more insurance runs in the inning after a missed call that allowed them to defeat the Bearkats 5-2 at Don Sanders Stadium in Huntsville, Texas.
Though it took the moment from Sam Houston (25-12), Bearkat head coach David Pierce said that the pitching was not up to par in the game.
Sam Houston used 6 pitchers and they gave up seven walks in the game.
“We didn’t play really well to win the game” Pierce said. “We got to get better out of the bullpen.”
The Bearkat offense didn’t get much production when it counted as they left 8 runners on base.
That was due to Houston’s (27-9) solid pitching that made the right pitches in the opportune time.
The Cougars used four pitchers, with reliever Andrew Lantrip getting the win after throwing two shutout innings.
“Their (Houston) pitching staff is No. 1 in the country,” Pierce said. “They walked one guy and struck out eight.”
“We didn’t get it done, center fielder Colt Atwood, who went 3 for 4 with an RBI, said. “Getting the clutch hits is more important.”
Houston capitalized on their opportunity in the top of the fourth inning to take a 1-0.
Left fielder Michael Pyeatt, who led off the inning with a single and first baseman Casey Grayson, who followed with a walk, advanced to second and third, respectively on a sacrifice bunt by center fielder Ashford Fulmer.
Then Pyeatt scored from third on a RBI ground out by third baseman Justin Montemayor.
The Cougars added another run in the top of the fifth inning for a 2-0 lead.
Short stop Connor Hollis started it with a one out single to left center and advanced to second on a walk by right fielder Kyle Survance.
Both runners advanced to second and third after Ebbs was called for a balk.
That turned out to be huge as a ground out by second baseman Josh Vidales allowed Hollis to score from third.
Sam Houston were able to knot it up at 2 in the bottom of the fifth inning.
After second baseman Shea Pierce reached on a fielder’s choice and advanced to second on a single by short stop Corey Toups, with two outs, Atwood hit an RBI single to left center field that scored Pierce to make it 2-1.
The following batter, catcher Anthony Azar, hit an RBI double to left field that scored Toups to cap the inning.
It seemed as if Houston was going to make something happen in the top of the 6th inning when Grayson led off with a walk.
But, left fielder Luke Plucheck had other ideas as he made another diving catch to rob Fulmer of a possible hit for the first out.
Afterward, Grayson was thrown out at second for the second out by Azar.
That allowed reliever Seth Holbert to force Montemayor to ground out to end the threat.
It didn’t stop the Cougars to score the go-ahead, run in the top of the seventh inning to make it 3-2 after a two out, RBI single by Vidales.
It seemed as Sam Houston State had got out of the jam in the top of the eighth inning when Toups made a diving stop to his left on a hit ball up the middle and thrown the ball at first for the final out.
However, the first base umpire called designated hitter Jacob Lueneburg, the person who hit the ball, safe claiming that first base man Hayden Simerly’s foot was pulled off the bag.
That kept the inning alive and a batter later, Hollis hit a RBI double to left field that extended the lead to 4-2.
After Survance issued the walk to load the bases, Vidales followed with an RBI walk of his own that capped the inning and took the sails out of the Bearkats.
Sam Houston looks to rebound from the loss when they return to Southland Conference play and travel to Beaumont to face Lamar in a weekend series.
“Lamar is a good team and are swinging the bats well right now,” Pierce said. “We got to be prepared.”