A struggling Bearkat team was held to just five hits in a 7-3 loss to the University of Houston Tuesday in Huntsville.
The Bearkats arrived at Holleman Field hoping to rebound from a bad road trip where they lost all three games to Southland Conference leaders Louisiana-Monroe. Unfortunately for Sam Houston, the Cougars had other plans.
The Bearkats were rocked hard by Cougar third baseman Hyung Cho, who nailed two home runs to opposite sides of the field to drive in a total of three runs. They were Cho’s only two hits of the game, but he made sure those hits counted.
“Cho’s a good hitter,” Bearkat head coach Chris Rupp said. “We don’t have the kind of staff that can afford to make mistakes like that.”
Of the five Bearkat hits, third baseman Phillip Weaver was the only player to hit more than one, going two for four on the day. Also hitting for the Bearkats were second baseman Lou Ferrell, shortstop Jeremy Holzbach and centerfielder Brandon Foster.
Dustin Craig started the game on the mound for SHSU, but would not be there long. He was credited with the SHSU loss after giving up three runs on five hits in 1 2/3 innings.
Ryan Herrera, the winner in the Nebraska game, put forth the longest pitching performance of the game. He was in for three complete innings, but gave up three runs off of three hits in the process.
The Bearkats just could not seem to get by Cougar pitcher Gene Flores. Flores started the game for Houston and stayed through five innings, giving up only one run and three hits while striking out three.
The game seemed to sway in the Bearkats’ favor in the middle three innings, when the team shut out the Cougars, while scoring a run of their own. In the three innings, the Bearkats faced only 12 batters and gave up only two hits.
“That’s another part of our problem,” Rupp said. “We can’t wait until the third inning to start playing. We’ve got to come out and play to begin with. The last five games, we’ve been down in the first inning and that makes it tough on your hitters.”
Sam Houston still had one last hope in the bottom of the ninth, but closer Ryan Wagner came in for the Cougars and rubbed the victory right in the Bearkats’ faces by striking out all three batters.
“Some of it, you have to give their guy credit,” Rupp said. “But we have a propensity for chasing bad balls sometimes.”
The Bearkats will host Lamar in a three game weekend series beginning Friday at 2 p.m.