After losing their first Southland Conference game of the season to Central Arkansas (9-9, 1-2 SLC), the Bearkats turned the three-game series into a hit fest as Sam Houston State University (15-8, 2-1 SLC) defeated the Bears in the final two games, 8-5, 15-8.
The final game of the weekend resulted in big numbers for several Bearkats as junior DH Bobby Verbick went 5-for-6 at the plate and junior right fielder Todd Sebek went 3-for-4. Verbick and Sebek combined at the plate to bring in 10 of the Bearkats 15 runs in the victory over the Bears.
Verbick also became the first Bearkat of the season to hit for the cycle as the transfer from San Jacinto Junior College hit a triple in the first inning, a double in the second, a single in the fourth and a home run in the top of the eighth for a total of eight RBI’s.
Sam Houston State scored 11 points in the first four innings while holding Central Arkansas scoreless through the fifth inning.
The biggest boost came in the top of the fourth as the Kats scored six runs off Bears pitching duo of Daniel Price and Jeremy Cloud.
Nick Zaleski led off the inning with a single and was followed by a pair of singles off the bats of Verbick and Clint Mann, who was 2-for-4 on the night. After a pair of singles from Jeremy Holzbach and Austin Boggs, Sebek doubled to put the Bearkats ahead 11-0.
The Sam Houston State bats cooled for the remainder of the game, yet the Bearkats tacked on four more runs in the final three innings for a final score of 15-6.
Senior Timothy Gray (2-1) took the mound for the Bearkats in the first and pitched 5 2/3 shut-out innings for the win. After giving up six runs on seven hits in the bottom of the sixth, Gray was replaced by Tanner Rainwater who stopped the bleeding by holding the Bears scoreless for 1 2/3 innings. Stephen Price tossed the final 1 1/3 innings without giving up any runs to seal the 15-6 win for the Bearkats.
The Bearkats next game is set for tonight at 6:30 p.m. at Don Sanders Stadium in a non-conference contest against the Prairie View A&M University Panthers.