After dropping a pair of games to Texas-Pan American this past weekend, the Bearkat baseball team came back with a vengeance Sunday and slammed the Broncs in their own stadium with a lopsided 18-7 victory to end non-conference play.
The Bearkats began the series Friday night with an exciting 10-inning game in which junior Timothy Gray gave up just four runs in 7 2/3 innings while striking out four Bronc batters. UTPA trailed SHSU 4-2 throughout the first seven innings but came back in the bottom of the eighth with a pair of hits off Gray to tie the score. The Broncs put the game away in the bottom of the 10th inning with a single off junior Luke Prihoda to score the game-winning run.
In the second game of the series on Saturday, the Bearkats had 10 hits but were only able to score five runs in the 8-5 loss. The Broncs’ hot bats kept the SHSU bullpen busy as the Bearkats went through five pitchers, giving up an embarrassing 15 hits while striking out just eight batters the entire game.
However, the team that walked off the field behind in the series 2-0 on Saturday evening transformed overnight into a completely different ball club. The Bearkats upped the ante in the final game of the series Sunday with some of the best offense they have played all year.
The SHSU bats were on fire throughout the first inning as the Bearkats scored 10 runs off seven hits to put the game away before the Broncs even stepped up to bat.
Center fielder Jeremy Holzbach led off the inning with a single, followed by another single on a bunt by DH Matt Fry. The Broncs’ pitcher walked right fielder Dustin Martin in the third at-bat to load the bases with no outs. The scoring frenzy began with a single by left fielder Ryan Trevino to bring in the first two runs of the game. Trevino then stole second base, advancing Martin to third. Second baseman Aaron Cook knocked a single to center field to bring Martin across the plate for the third run.
After walking third baseman Daniel Cox to load the bases yet again, the Broncs made a pitching change in an attempt to cool off the Bearkat offense and reduce the damage already done. However, the SHSU scoring continued as the Bearkats forced UTPA to put three different pitchers on the mound in the first inning alone.
With the bases loaded, the new UTPA pitcher walked the next two batters to bring in two more runs for the Bearkats without giving up a single hit.
After the final pitching change of the inning, the Bearkats scored the remaining four runs as Martin doubled and Trevino and first baseman Karl Krailo each singled. The Broncs long inning of dismal performance finally came to a close as Cook grounded out to second base.
SHSU will begin conference play with a series at home against McNeese (7-5) Friday.