As the Sam Houston State University baseball team takes the field tonight in their first game of the season, the players from Brigham Young University won’t be the only unique aspect of the evening.
A whole host of exciting events have already taken place for the Bearkat baseball program and the season hasn’t even begun. From massive monetary donations to legendary speakers to an entirely new coaching staff, this season looks to be remembered as the launch of a new era of Bearkat baseball.
While the match-up between the Bearkats and the Cougars will be only the second in school history, the game will be the first under the lights of newly named Sanders Stadium and the first under new head coach Mark Johnson.
The Bearkats’ one-year old stadium first opened in the fall of 2006, yet remained nameless until SHSU alum Don Sanders provided $1 million for the baseball program and a new name for its stadium.
After the Kats found themselves without a head coach this past summer, the Bearkats quickly snapped up Johnson as a replacement and hopeful improvement. In addition to being a member of the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame, Johnson carries a long resume full of big-name schools such as Southeastern Conference powerhouse Mississippi State University and Big XII contender Texas A&M. After 21 years at the helm of the Aggie baseball program, Johnson will showcase his coaching talent for the Bearkats for the first time tonight.
The Cougars trip to Huntsville is one of just two games BYU will play in Texas this year.
The game tonight is one of a three-game series between SHSU and BYU with game time set for 6:30 p.m. The last time the Bearkats played BYU was in 1991 when the Cougars defeated SHSU 8-6.