Sam Houston State baseball closed their opening weekend 1-2, dropping against no. 22 Tulane (2-0) and Missouri State (2-3) but rallied late to edge out a win against Texas State 10-9 in San Marcos, TX.
Averaging eight runners left on base per game, SHSU struggled to establish a presence at the plate hitting for a team average of .234 over the weekend.
Against Tulane, the Bearkats were silenced by pitcher Tony Rizzotti tossing his first complete game of the season, allowing a mere single from Jesse Plumlee in the bottom of the third inning. Rizzotti struck out five Bearkats, averaging 93 to 97 on his fastball, and allowed one walk in Fridays matchup.
“[Rizzotti] threw the best stuff we’ve seen in a long time,” Assistant Coach Sean Allen said. Good pitching does that to hitting.
Bearkat pitcher Caleb Smith struggle to gain composure walking seven batters in his four innings on the mound.
“He’s going to bounce back. He’s just didn’t have a good feel for his change-up and his fastball. He still gave our team a chance to win,” Allen said.
SHSU’s hitting woes spilled over into the next game against Missouri States ranked pitching rotation Saturday.
Nine runners left on base hindered the Bearkats ability to ignite at the plate and take a late inning lead against the Bears.
“We just didn’t get the big hit. Our guys had good at bats we just couldn’t get that one big hit,” Allen said.
Missouri’s pitching rotation led the nation during the 2012 season with a .279 ERA.
The Bearkats bats started clicking early against Texas State leading 7-1 going into the top of the seventh inning. Pitcher Derek Barosh loaded the bases and allowed the Bobcats to score three runs during his outing, initiating a landslide of eight total runs in the seventh for Texas State to even the scoreboard.
“We walked too many guys in the seventh inning. You walk guys you’re going to give up some runs,” Allen said.
After a series of singles from Ryan Farney and Plumlee, Luke Plucheck doubled into the gap to left field to bring in Farney and Plumlee in the top of the ninth. Closer Logan Boyd secured a Bearkat win striking out Bobcat Colby Targun to close out the ninth.
SHSU will square off against the University of Houston for their home opener Tuesday at Don Sanders Stadium. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.