The pitching blues

The Bearkats visited Texas A&M Tuesday, but upon arrival, the Aggies quickly sent Sam Houston State packing.

The final score showed the Bearkats down 15-8, but at the beginning of the game, it looked to be quite the opposite, as Sam Houston got off to an early 6-0 lead at the top of the first inning.

Brandon Foster, Jeremy Holzbach, Andrew Kasparek, Dom Garcia and Jonathan Stone all got on base in the first and the Bearkats took advantage of two wild pitches to take the early lead.

“Our hitters showed up against a nationally ranked team, like they did against Nebraska,” assistant baseball coach Phillip Ghutzman said Wednesday. “The batters were able to get hits and take walks when we needed it.”

The Aggies, however, did not want to be the only team whose pitching was rocked by the opposition.

A&M immediately took it to Bearkat starter Ryan Herrera, who was pulled after giving up three runs off of one hit and three walks in only 1/3 innings pitched.

“We don’t pitch with the lead very well,” Ghutzman said. “We get too comfortable when we have a cushion, but we can’t be giving any free passes.”

The Bearkats struggled throughout Tuesday’s game with their pitching situation. Herrera, Nathan Osterman, Caleb Rodgers, Nathan Brewer and Michael Nelson pitched a combined 2 1/3 innings. The only Bearkats getting significant time on the mound were Nathan Boyd with 3 1/3 innings and Ryan Myers with 2 1/3.

“The pitching changes were a result of wanting to stop the bleeding,” Ghutzman said.

Boyd’s only drawback from Tuesday was giving up three runs, but apart from that, the senior from Bryan proved to be the best of the Bearkat pitchers, giving up only four hits and two walks to the 16 batters he faced.

The Bearkat bats were hot during the first inning, but afterwards, they just could not drive in their base runners.

The hits that Holzbach and Stone got in the first inning would be their only ones of the night. Jeremy Locke, batting .305 this season, could not make contact with the ball, striking out three times Tuesday.

By the time the game was over, the Bearkats fell victim to 13 strikeouts, including six each by Aggie relievers Dan Donaldson and Robert Ray.

“The lefty (Donaldson) they brought in did a great job,” Ghutzman said. “He was really throwing his game and it would be nice if our pitchers could do the same.”

With help from the first inning explosion, the Bearkats notched up an impressive 12 hits, only two less than their opponents. Garcia led the way with three hits and Foster, Ferrell and Kasparek each notched two.

The Bearkats will be traveling to San Marcos to play a weekend series against Southwest Texas. The first game will begin Friday at 6:30 p.m.

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