By Cheval John
Sam Houston State head coach David Pierce couldn’t ask for a better way to start the season after his squad swept Northern Colorado with a 7-1 victory at Don Sanders Stadium in Huntsville, Texas.
This makes it the first time that the Bearkats started the season at 4-0 under coach Pierce.
Sam Houston got a quality start from red shirt freshman pitcher Sam Odom.
Odom went six strong innings, giving up only a run on 6 hits and got the victory.
The Bearkats got solid pitching from the bullpen as freshman reliever Seth Holbert went two innings while Jordan Church pitched the ninth inning to seal the victory.
Northern Colorado (0-4) could not take advantage of opportunities when it counted as they left 39 men on base for the series.
Eight men were left on in today’s matchup.
The Bears had gotten a hit in each of the first three innings.
One of those innings (second), they had a player in scoring position.
But the stout pitching by Odom was able to neutralized the offense of Northern Colorado that kept them off the scoreboard.
On the other hand, the Bearkats were able to take advantage of their opportunities at the right time.
Hayden Simerly went seven for fifteen with 5 RBIs in the series.
Carter Burgess had a good day with a two for four performance and two RBIs.
Ryan Farney went three for three with an RBI and two runs scored.
Sam Houston struck first in the bottom of the second inning for a 1-0 lead on a sacrifice fly by Jake MacWilliam.
Burgess singled with one out in the bottom of the second.
He advanced to second on a balk by starting pitcher Nick Miller, to third on a pass ball and scored on the sacrifice fly.
Finally, the Bears were able to capitalized on their opportunity in the top of the fifth inning when Ryan Yamane hit a two out single that scored Nick Tanner to notch it up at 1.
Tanner hit a one-out single in the top of the fifth and advanced to second on a error by Odom after he tried to pick him off at first.
The Bearkats retook the lead at 2-1 on an infield RBI single by Atwood.
Farney started the rally with a two out single. Plucheck followed with a walk.
Both runners stole second and third, respectively, that put both of them in scoring position.
The Bears had an opportunity to tie the game when Miller hit a one out single and stole second base.
But Northern Colorado couldn’t capitalized as Odom got Ben Vaughn, who went 0-3, and Cody Harrison, who went 2 for 4 to ground out to end the threat.
That allowed the Bearkats to explode for five runs in the bottom of the 6th inning for a 7-1 lead courtesy of a two-run double by pinch hitter, Ryan O’Hearn, an RBI double by Shea Pierce, a RBI single by Farney and a RBI single by Atwood.
The Bearkats aim to keep their win streak alive when they go to Lake Charles and face fellow Southland Conference member, McNeese State tomorrow in a non-conference matchup at 6 p.m.
The Cowboys are currently 3-0 for the season after winning the Lake Area Classic with victories over Southeastern Conference (SEC) member Missouri, Conference USA member Southern Mississippi and Chicago State.
By Cheval John
When you are a sports writer, you have one of the best jobs in the world.
Anything can happen in a sporting event that makes you go wow.
The Sam Houston State baseball team, who took the series from Northern Colorado on Sunday afternoon with a 5-0 victory, knows how to have a little fun.
Junior transfer Jake McWilliam, who started the five-run 6th inning, with an RBI single, had the opportunity to do his first post game interview as a Bearkat.
What he didn’t know was his teammates had a little surprise for him.
Welcome to the Bearkat family, Mr. McWilliam.
By Cheval John
A five-run sixth inning propelled Sam Houston State to a 5-0 victory over Northern Colorado at Don Sanders Stadium in Huntsville, Texas.
The win secured the series for the Bearkats.
Dylan Ebbs, who started the game as a designated hitter, threw 1 2/3 innings in relief of starter Dirk Masters and got his first win of the season.
Though Ebbs went 0-2, he also walked twice and scored a run.
Luke Plucheck, who came into the game with .429 batting average after going 3 for 4 last night, went one for three with 3 RBIs.
Northern Colorado (0-3) loaded the bases four times, but could not capitalize on their opportunities as the Bearkats defense was able to shut them down.
In addition to the strong pitching by Masters and Ebbs, Jason Simms, who is on the Baseball Writers Association of America’s Stopper of the Year watch list, threw one inning in relief.
The Bears had their best chance in the top of the fourth inning when Nick Miller led off with a double down the left field line and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Brandon Vaugh.
Colby Harrelson followed with a walk to make it first and third.
After Masters struck out Ben Netzel for the second out, he walked Bryan Tibbetts to load the bases.
However, Masters settled down and struck out Nick Tanner to get out of the jam.
Then the Bearkats (3-0) exploded for five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to break the scoreless tie at 5-0.
Jake MacWilliam, who went 2 for 4, lined a one out single to left field that plated Anthony Azar from second for a 1-0 lead while Hayden Simerly, who had a single after Azar, advanced to third.
After Ebbs issued a walked with two outs to load the bases, Plucheck hit a double to left field that scored all three runners to increase the lead to 4-0.
Plucheck advanced to third on the throwing error and scored the fifth run on a error by Vaugh that allowed Dalton Perry to reach first.
Azar started the rally with a singled to right field.
The Bears had a chance to make something happen in the top of the seventh when Jake Ekman hit a one out single and Ryan Yamane followed with a single.
After Corey Fujimoto’s sacrifice bunt advanced both runners to second and third, respectively, Miller was walked to load the bases.
However, reliever Jason Simms got Vaugh to ground out to end the threat.
The series finale will take place tomorrow at 4 p.m.
By Cheval John
Sam Houston State starting pitcher Andrew Godail started off the game by walking lead-off hitter Ryan Yamane.
That led to Northern Colorado’s first run of the game after Nick Miller’s RBI single.
It could have gone downhill from there.
Instead, Godail settled down and pitched a solid game which allowed the Bearkats offense to string together some runs that led to the 9-1 victory over the Bears at Don Sanders Stadium in Huntsville, Texas.
Godail went 5 2/3 innings for his first win of the season.
Offensively, Sam Houston (2-0) got timely hits when it counted.
Hayden Simerly went 3 for 5 with two RBIs.
Luke Plucheck contributed big time with a 3 for 4 night and scored three runs.
With the Bearkats trailing 1-0, they responded with three runs in the bottom of the first inning for a 3-1 lead.
Simerly hit a two run, triple that scored Corey Toups and Anthony Azar to make it 2-1.
Toups led off the inning with a walk and stole second base.
A batter later, Azar followed with a walk and then both scored on Simerly’s triple.
Simerly scored the third run on Ryan O’Hearn’s sacrifice fly.
Sam Houston increased their lead to 4-1 in the bottom of the fourth inning on a RBI single by Ryan Farney.
It seemed as if the Bears (0-2) was going to make a game out of it in the top of the fifth inning.
With two outs, Brandon Vaugh hit a single to left and advanced to third on a single by Colby Harrison, who advanced to second on the throw to third base.
However, they did not capitalized when reliever Ryan Brinley, who came in the game in place of Godail, struck out Andrew Coffman to end the threat.
That was all the Bearkats needed as they scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth to increase the lead to 6-1.
Sam Houston added two more runs in the bottom of the eighth inning for an 8-1.
The Bearkats have a chance to win the series tomorrow at 1 p.m.
Game 4 will take place on Monday at 4 p.m.
By Cheval John
The Sam Houston State baseball team started the 2014 season on the right foot.
The back-to-back Southland Conference regular season champions defeated the University of Northern Colorado 5-3 at Don Sanders Stadium in Huntsville, Texas.
This was the first time that the Bearkats have won an opening season game under head coach David Pierce.
Hayden Simerly went 2 for 3 with two runs batted in.
Colt Atwood got two hits out of four at-bats with an RBI.
Though starting pitcher Chris Hammer shut down the Bearkats’ offense for the first three innings, Tyler Eppler equaled his counter part with four shut out innings.
That allowed Sam Houston to strike first in the bottom of the fourth with two runs to give them a 2-0 lead.
The Bearkats played small ball and got some offensive production from the veterans on the squad at the right time in the fourth.
Atwood jump started it with a double down the right field line and advanced to third on a ground out by Anthony Azar.
Simerly’s sacrifice fly scored Colt Atwood from third that made it 1-0.
After Carter Burgess hit a long double to left field, he scored from second on a single by Ryan O’Hearn.
The Bears cut the lead to 2-1 on a RBI single up the middle by Jake Ekman.
Sam Houston created some cushion after scoring two runs in the bottom of the fifth for a 4-1 lead.
Ryan Farney started the party after reaching first on an error by Brandon Vaughn.
He advanced to second on a single by Corey Toups.
Atwood’s RBI single scored Farney from second base while Toups advanced to third and Atwood advanced to second on the throw home to the plate.
Then Toups scored from third on Azar’s RBI ground out.
It appeared as if the Bearkats were in control when they brought in reliever Alan Scott in place of Eppler in the sixth inning.
After getting the first two outs, the Bears strung together some runners and then
Ben Netzel hit a two out, two-run triple to pull them within 4-3.
The Bearkats didn’t panicked and increased their lead to 5-3 on an RBI single by Simerly.
Scott settled down and shut down the Bears in the final three innings to get the save.
Eppler went five innings and got the win.
Scott was only supposed to pitch up to the eighth inning, but he told his coach that he was responsible for giving up those two runs and wanted to make it up to the team.
That alone shows that they understand that they are playing for each other and are determined to start the season off right.
Game 2 of the four game series will be tomorrow at 6:30 p.m.