The Bearkats almost took two of three from visiting Northwestern State Sunday, before the Demons scored seven runs in the seventh inning to shatter the hopes of the home team, eventually defeating Sam Houston 9-8 in 12 innings.
The Bearkats got off to a 4-0 lead, but the Demons took a 7-4 lead in the top of the seventh inning.
“Mostly, our pitchers were not hitting our spots,” Bearkat starter Jordan Tata said after Sunday’s game. “A couple walks and a couple base hits and it all just had kind of a domino effect there.”
Not giving up so easily, Lou Ferrell came up in the bottom of the seventh and blasted a three-run home run over the right field fence, scoring Brandon Foster and Jeremy Holzbach and tying the game at seven.
“He just left a pitch up and I got a pretty good swing on it,” Ferrell said. Luckily, it kind of jumped for me, and it was pretty big at the time.”
After a 10-run explosion by both teams in the seventh inning, neither team was able to get back on the board until the 12th inning.
Demon third baseman Tigger Lyles hit a double up the right side to score Josh Boop and Anatole Vincent and give Northwestern State a 9-7 lead.
Sam Houston was able to put up one run in the bottom of the inning, but one was all they found, ending the game with a 9-8 loss.
Despite eventually losing the game, the Bearkats were hot to start of the day.
Tata shut out the visitors for the first six innings Sunday, holding back the opposition with six strikeouts. Four of those six came in the first two innings, with three called strikeouts.
The first few innings I was hitting my spots pretty well and (Catcher) Dom Garcia called a good game,” Tata said. “Put that together and that’s what was happening.”
In the middle of the series on Saturday, the Bearkats found themselves a win and they were forced to earn this one.
Saturday, it was the Bearkats who would come back from a 4-0 deficit to win the game. After scoring one run in the seventh inning, Sam Houston put five on the board in the eighth to give them a 6-4 win.
Holzbach was credited with only one hit Saturday, but he left the game with three RBIs, including the game-winning two RBI single in the eighth inning.
“He’s been invaluable,” Bearkat coach Chris Rupp said of Holzbach. “He’s been playing well now, and really coming on and getting better every week. Every time he goes out there, he’s getting better defensively and getting better at the plate. He’s turning into a pretty good ballplayer.”
Once again, Zach Adkisson pitched a phenomenal game for the Bearkats. In eight innings pitched, he gave up four runs, but only four hits and he struck out two.
For the second day in a row, the Bearkats out hit the Demons.
Leading the charge for Sam Houston were Andrew Kasparek and Jonathan Stone with two. Holzbach, Garcia, Jeremy Locke and Keith Hodges each had one.
Despite out hitting the visitors 11-5 Friday, the Bearkats suffered a 5-3 loss to Northwestern State.
The top four in the order for Sam Houston, Foster, Holzbach, Ferrell and Kasparek each notched up two hits, but it was just not enough the get the Bearkats the win.
Despite being given the loss, pitcher Phillip Gougler pitched a great game, giving up only three earned runs and striking out two in his six innings pitched.
Down 5-1 in the bottom of the seventh, Sam Houston tried to mount a comeback. They were able to put something across, getting two runs to shorten the lead.
The rally was then broken on a Lou Ferrell single, when Brandon Foster was gunned down sliding into home plate.
The weekend brings Sam Houston’s Southland Conference record to 5-10, with a 14-23 overall record.
The No. 1 ranked team in the nation will be visiting Huntsville when the Rice Owls play the Bearkats at Holleman Field today at 4 p.m.