By Cheval John
Though it was Spring Break, a capacity crowd of 848 was out on a beautiful Tuesday at Don Sanders Stadium in Huntsville, Texas to watch a midweek baseball game.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t pretty for No.18 Sam Houston State as they lost to the University of Texas-San Antonio (UTSA) 9-2.
UTSA’s (12-5) offense was on fire as they totaled 15 hits.
Catcher John Bormann, who came into the game with 0 home runs and two RBIs, went two for four with 2 home runs and five RBIs.
Logan Onda pitched 4 2/3 innings in relief and secured his second win of the season.
It was the opposite of what this video* shows below for Sam Houston (13-4) as they got 11 hits, but left 9 runners on base.
The Bearkats used seven pitchers in the matchup with starter Ryan Brinley suffering his first loss of the season.
UTSA struck for two runs in the top of the first for a 2-0 lead.
Right fielder John Welborn led off the game with a double and advanced to third on an error by right fielder Hayden Simerly.
Welborn scored on the infield single by center fielder Jesse Baker, who beat out the throw at first and advanced to second on the throwing error by short stop Jake MacWilliam.
A batter later, Baker was driven in from second on a double by short stop Horacio Correa III.
Sam Houston was threatening in the bottom of the first when center fielder Colt Atwood led off with a single and first baseman Ryan O’Hearn followed with a walk.
However, starting pitcher Boone Mokry got catcher Anthony Azar to fly out, Simerly to hit into a fielder’s choice play and third baseman Carter Burgess to fly out to end the threat.
That allowed the Roadrunners to explode for a 5-0 lead in the top of the third on a three-run, home run by Bormann.
It only got worse as UTSA increased their lead to 7-0 in the top of the fifth inning on a two-run jack by Bormann.
Sam Houston were able to get on the board in the bottom of the fifth to cut the lead to 7-1.
Designated Hitter Dalton Perry led off with a single and a batter later, Atwood hit a single up the middle and an error by Baker allowed Perry to score all the way from first.
That didn’t fazed the Roadrunners as they increased their lead to 8-1 in the top of the sixth inning on a RBI single by R.J. Perucki.
UTSA tacked on another run in the top of the seventh for a 9-1 lead on a throwing error by the Bearkats.
Sam Houston added another run in the bottom of the seventh to make it 9-2 on a RBI single by Azar.
But the damage was already done as Onda kept the Bearkats silenced in the final two innings to secure the win.
The Bearkats looks to rebound in their Southland Conference’s series opener against the University of New Orleans in New Orleans this Friday night at 6:30 p.m.
*Video courtesy of the Southland Conference via Bearkat Sports Network
By Cheval John
Even though, No. 20 Sam Houston State took the series from Cal State-Northridge on Saturday, the Bearkats was focused on getting the sweep.
It wouldn’t be easy as both teams fought hard until a walk-off sacrifice fly by Ryan Farney gave the Bearkats a 3-2 victory in 13 innings at Don Sanders Stadium in Huntsville, Texas.
“It was pretty for our offense or defense but our pitching was outstanding all week and at the end of the day we got the sweep this weekend so we’re happy,” Farney said to SHSU’s athletics website, gobearkats.com. “You’ve got to love being in situations like that with the game on the line and a chance to win the game for your team.”
Ryan Brinley pitched 1 1/3 innings in relief and secured his second win of the season.
Sam Houston (13-3) jumped in front 2-0 in the bottom of the second when first baseman Ryan O’Hearn launched a two run, home run over right centerfield.
It seemed as if the Bearkats was going to cruise to the sweep because of the strong pitching of starter Dirk Masters, who went 6 1/3 innings with the no decision.
But that was not going to be the case as the Bearkats committed five errors with two of them leading to Cal State-Northridge (6-10) knotting the game at 2.
The first one came in the top of the third when Ranny Lowe reached first on a error by third baseman Carter Burgess that allowed catcher Dylan Alexander, who led off the inning with a single, to advance to second.
Another error by short stop Jake MacWilliam loaded the bases and Alexis Mercado issued the walk that scored Alexander from third to cut the lead to 2-1.
It got worse for the Bearkats in the top of the seventh inning when Lowe hit a one out single and advanced to third on an error by MacWilliam when he was trying to attempt the double play and threw it away that allowed second baseman Michael Livingston to reach base and advance to second.
The next batter, Pak hit a single to right field that scored Lowe from third to tie the game.
From there both teams battled that went into extras courtesy of strong pitching from both bullpens.
Then Sam Houston was able to get something going in the bottom of the 13th inning when MacWilliam led off with a single and advanced to third on a throwing error by reliever Shay Maltese when he was trying to throw out left fielder Luke Plucheck at first on a sacrifice bunt play that allowed him to advanced to second.
Though it was the Matador’s only error of the game, it turned out to be very costly as it allowed Farney to drive in MacWilliam from third for the walk-off win on the sacrifice fly.
Sam Houston prepares for a mid-week matchup on Tuesday as they host University of Texas-San Antonio on Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m.
By Cheval John
What comes to your mind when you hear the word, challenge?
Does it produce the mentality of fear of failure or does it energizes you to say, ”This is nothing.”
Challenges are there to see what we are made off.
For example, the Sam Houston State baseball team participated in the Houston College Classic this past weekend against three nationally-ranked teams in Texas Christian (TCU), Texas Tech and Texas at Minute Maid Park.
What would have happened if they had said when they got the invitation to participate that “Oh, I don’t think we can compete with these teams because of their prominence in college baseball and that we have achieved consecutive at-large bids to the NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament?”
Well, Sam Houston would not have achieved national rankings in four collegiate baseball polls; No.20 in Baseball America
Left fielder Luke Plucheck would not have had the opportunity to make acrobatic catches against TCU
and then against Texas Tech that made it on SportsCenter Top 10 plays.*
And Sam Houston would not have had the opportunity to take their baseball program to another stratosphere.
So the question is: “How long will you allow fear to hinder you from achieving your dreams?”
As Jen Groover put it when she launched her successful product, “The Butler Bag” in her book, “What If And Why Not?:
“Regret is Much Worse Than Failure.”
So do not let the fear of failure prevent you from achieving your dreams.
*Videos courtesy of the Southland Conference via CSN Houston
By Cheval John
HOUSTON-Sam Houston State wanted to show the nation that they are a force to be reckoned with.
So far so good.
The Bearkats defeated No.26 Texas Tech 10-6 at the Houston College Classic at Minute Maid Park.
The victory is Sam Houston’s third consecutive over a nationally ranked opponent.
Last Tuesday, the Bearkats defeated No. 10 Rice 3-1 at Reckling Park, then No.12 Texas Christian (TCU) 9-4 in the first game of the tournament.
Sam Houston (10-1 overall) had three home runs in the game that produced seven of their ten runs.
Ryan O’Hearn, who went 2 for 4, had two home runs with four RBIs.
“I struggled a little bit yesterday and was chasing pitches out of the zone. Today I was just worried about getting strikes and getting good pitches to hit,” O’Hearn said to SHSU’s athletics website gobearkats.com. “I got a few of them. It was a lot of fun, especially here at this stadium and to help my team win. It’s huge for us to get wins against these teams in this tournament.”
Hayden Simerly had the other home run with a 3 for 5 performance and two RBIs.
The Bearkats fed off the offense with their pitching.
Reliever Sam Odom pitched 4 1/3 innings, fanned three batters and got his second win.
“This is just a crazy experience,” Odom said to gobearkats.com. “I never expected to come into my first year in college and be able to throw as many innings as I have. Playing at Minute Maid going against what I grew up watching, it’s just an amazing feeling and I can’t explain it.”
O’Hearn started the fun in the top of the first when he launched the first pitch into the Crawford Box for a 1-0 lead.
Texas Tech (8-3) responded with two runs in the bottom of the first to make it 2-1.
Jake Barrios started it with a two out, infield single and advanced to second on a walk to Eric Guitierrez.
Then Adam Kirsh ripped a single past third baseman Carter Burgess that scored Barrios from second.
Guitierrez scored after the ball skipped away from Burgess while trying to apply the tag.
The Bearkats wasn’t phased by it as they exploded for five runs in the top of the second for a 6-2 lead.
Shea Pierce and Luke Plucheck issued back-to-back walks and the bases was loaded after an infield single by Ryan Farney.
Colt Atwood’s RBI single drove in Pierce to knot it up at 2.
Then, O’Hearn’s sacrifice fly gave the Bearkats a 3-2 lead.
A wild pitch by Red Raiders’ starting pitcher Matt Winthrow allowed Farney to score the fourth run for Sam Houston.
A batter later, with two outs, Simerly launched a two-run shot to right field to increase the lead to 6-2.
Even though Texas Tech was chipping away at the lead by scoring a run in the bottom of the second and the fifth to pull within 6-4, they would not get any closer.
O’Hearn made sure of that when he hit a two-run home run to right field in the top of the sixth inning to make it 8-4.
Sam Houston added two more runs in the top of the seventh to increase the lead to 10-4 and would hold the Red Raiders for the win.
Withrow wound up with the loss for Texas Tech and now holds a record at 1-1.
The Bearkats look to finish the tournament unblemished later this morning when they face No.15 Texas at 10:05 a.m.