Seven was the magic number this weekend as the Bearkats (22-20, 11-10 SLC) were defeated twice by Texas State, 7-2, 7-5, before overcoming the Bobcats (22-22, 14-7 SLC) in game three with a 7-3 win on Sunday.
Timothy Gray began the series Friday and suffered just his second loss of the season while Zach Adkisson improved to 4-2 in the Bearkats first home appearance since April 4. A usually dominant Gray (4-2) scattered eight hits and gave up five runs in just 5 2/3 innings Friday night, taking the loss and raising his ERA to 3.20.
On offense, catcher Adam Perry went 2-4 with a single and a double as DH Gregory O’Neill earned the only RBI of the game off of a ground-out to third base.
Saturday’s match-up ended in much the same way as Jacob Howard (1-1), a freshman from West Columbia H.S., allowed four hits and four runs in just 1 2/3 innings to take the loss.
The SHSU offense knocked out nine hits but only brought in five runs as centerfielder Jeremy Holzbach remained the only outfielder to get a hit against the Bobcats. The 7-5 loss in game two put the Bearkats at .500 in the conference for the first time this season.
Adkisson started game three on Sunday and gave up just six hits and three runs in eight innings to earn the 7-3 win.
Second baseman Clint Mann, who moved to the leadoff spot Saturday, began the game with a single up the middle. Holzbach, who went 2 for 3, followed with a bunt single. An error by the Bobcat infield allowed first baseman Karl Krailo to reach first and a sacrifice fly in the next at-bat by shortstop Matt Fry scored the first Bearkat run of the game.
The Sam Houston State University offense caught fire in the bottom of the second as third baseman Daniel Cox hit a solo homerun in the second at bat of the inning. Holzbach followed with a three-run shot over the wall to put the Bearkats ahead 5-0. Left fielder Ryan Trevino followed with a single for another RBI.
With the Bearkats firmly in the lead 6-0, Adkisson slipped in the top of the fourth and allowed the Bobcats to score two runs off one hit. A sacrifice fly from Holzbach in the bottom of the third brought the Bearkats’ lead to 7-2 before the SHSU bats went cold.
Thanks to the excellent pitching of Adkisson and closer Luke Prihoda, the Texas State offense was only able to bring in one more run in the top of the eighth. Prihoda took over in the top of the ninth and held the Bobcats to no hits and no runs, giving the Bearkats the 7-3 win.
The Bearkats hit the road today in a face-off with the University of Houston at 7 p.m. The Cougars (28-15, 12-3 CUSA) are coming off a 16-inning win against Conference USA opponent Memphis and are currently in second place in CUSA behind Rice.