Anyone driving past Don Sanders Stadium Tuesday night may have thought the Bearkats new scoreboard was broken. The visiting Prairie View A&M players probably wished that it was.
By the end of the night, the Sam Houston State offense knocked in 13 runs while the duo of Casey Springer and Jon Lindenberger proved the strength of the Bearkats’ pitching staff by holding the Panthers scoreless and nearly tossing a perfect game.
Springer started on the mound for the Bearkats and pitched five perfect innings, holding the Panthers to no hits, no runs and no walks. Lindenberger took over in the top of the sixth and continued the shutout, giving up just one hit and a walk on two outs in the top of the ninth.
Despite the ecstatic Panther dugout following the single from centerfielder Greg Ford, the Sam Houston State offense proved the more potent at the plate as the Bearkats combined for 13 runs on 17 hits throughout the game.
Nick Zaleski, who was 3-for-5 on the night, brought in a team-high four runs for Sam Houston State with a pair of doubles and a single while Austin Boggs and Keith Stein each contributed two runs of their own.
The Kats found success at the plate early in the game with a pair of runs off the bats of Bobby Verbick and Jeremy Holzbach, who went 3-for-4 with three singles and an RBI.
The Bearkats offensive explosion came in the bottom of the seventh and carried over into the eighth as the Sam Houston State batters knocked in eight runs while the Panthers remained scoreless.
Karl Krailo led off the inning with a double, and later scored on a double by third baseman Austin Boggs. A double from Zaleski and a sacrifice fly off the bat of Stein brought in two more runs and put the game out of reach for the Prairie View A&M team.
Carrying a comfortable 9-0 lead, the Bearkats entered the bottom of the eighth inning and quickly regained their momentum.
Will Alvis, pinch hitting for Karl Krailo, led off the eighth inning with a single, followed by a single from Holzbach and Aaron Cook, who pinch hit for Boggs. Another single from Tyson Mire brought Zaleski to the plate, who doubled to bring three runners across the plate for the Bearkats and seal the 13-0 win for the Kats.
Despite giving up the perfect game in the top of the eighth, the Bearkats came away with the one-hitter and improved their record to 16-8 on the season.
The Kats at home again this Friday at 6:30 p.m. in a Southland Conference game against the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders.