Bearkats Upends Lions 5-3 To Take Series
By Cheval John
Sam Houston State understood the magnitude of their weekend matchup with Southeastern Louisiana at Don Sanders Stadium in Huntsville, Texas.
Coming into the series, the Bearkats were trailing the Lions, who were in first place in the Southland Conference by two games.
Sam Houston won the first game in dramatic fashion by the score of 2-1.*
On Saturday, they took the series with a 5-3 win and are currently tied with the Lions in conference
“Going into this weekend, we knew how big it was,” Bearkat left fielder Luke Plucheck, who went 1 for 3 with a home run and three RBI’s said. “We wanted to come out and show that we are still the best team in this conference.”
Bearkats pitcher Nolan Riggs pitched 2 1/3 innings in relief and secured his first win of the season.
Sam Houston (12-8 SLC play, 29-14 overall) got key defensive plays in the top of the fourth inning that kept the Lions off the board.
Lions’ catcher Jameson Fisher led off the inning with a walk and stole second base with one out.
The next batter, third baseman Brett Hoffman, hit into a fielder’s choice that got Fisher out for the second out.
It turned out to be huge as designated player Daniel Midyett hit a single that would have scored Fisher, but instead, made it first and second with two outs.
Then, first baseman Sam Roberson hit a single to right field that would have brought in Hoffman.
However, Travis Lee threw out Hoffman at home to get the third out and end the threat.
The Lions (12-8 SLC play, 27-16 overall) finally broke through in the top of the fifth inning for a 1-0 lead.
Center fielder Jacob Seward had a two out single and advanced to second on a walk by short stop Kennon Mennard.
The next batter, Fisher, hit one up the middle that scored Seward from second base.
It didn’t take long for the Bearkats to respond in the bottom of the fifth inning with a four run explosion to make it 4-1.
Plucheck started it with a two run, shot off the basing of the scoreboard to make it 2-1.
A few batters later, catcher Anthony Azar hit a two run double to center field that extended the lead to 4-1.
“They’ve been playing very shallow in the outfield,” Bearkat coach David Pierce said. “Azar is a powerful hitter and he just burned the center fielder.
The Lions was not going away easily as Seward’s two run double in the top of the sixth inning cut the lead to 4-3.
Sam Houston got an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth inning to extend the lead to 5-3 on a fielder’s choice play that allowed short stop Corey Toups, who led off with a single and advanced to third on a single by Pierce, to score.
Plucheck reached base on the play and was credited with the RBI.
“Our mindset every time is to just win the inning,” Plucheck said. “No matter how many runs they scored in the top half of the inning, our goal is to always score more in the bottom half of the inning.
The Bearkats look to sweep the Lions in the rubber match later today at 1 p.m.
*First Video Courtesy of Bearkat Sports Network