After struggling with a 1-3 losing record, Sam Houston State baseball found their stride after clenching their first home series 2-1 against Louisiana-Monroe this past weekend.
Freshman Spence Rahm kindled early inning rallies hitting .375 against the Warhawks with two doubles to establish a strong presence for SHSU at the plate in SHSUs 4-2 and 7-3 victories.
Rahm made his first appearance in game two against ULM and opened with a single that sparked a six hit inning to rally in four runs in the bottom of the fourth.
I was seeing [the ball] really well. I didnt start on Friday but I got in [Saturday] and I was seeing the ball come in really well, Rahm said.
Coming off their home opener loss to University of Houston (6-3) on Tuesday and series opener to ULM (2-1), pitcher Cody Dickson tossed his first complete game of the season, throwing nine strikeouts and holding ULM to two runs off seven hits.
Coach David Pierce attributes the weekend wins to sound outings on the mound.
[Dickson] pounded the strike zone with great stuff, Pierce said. He threw a lot of strike oneswhen he threw the changeups they were just plus pitches. When you attack the strike zone with the fastball, he did a great job.
Against UH, SHSU pitchers were cornered into multiple full-counts and high pitch counts but avoided wild pitches and walks against the Warhawks in games two and three. Pitcher Andrew Godail maintained SHSUs strong presence on the rubber pitching six innings with seven strikeouts.
In the first four innings [Godail] was really sharp and he battled through the fifth and the sixth, Pierce said. The thing about Andrew is that hes got three solid pitches, and hes going pitch upper 80s and low 90s, and hes gotten past the point of worrying about throwing strikes. Hes competing against batters.
Warhawk power hitter Corben Green had a stronghold on the Bearkat bullpen in games one and two, but lost steam against Godail recording with three strikeouts.
The key with [Green] is getting him to two strikes because he will chase a breaking ball if you get him there, Pierce said. The key for us is weve got to get strike one against him either with the breaking ball or really bust him hard him.
Green hit 5-8 going into Sundays matchup and only reached on base once after being hit by a pitch.
SHSU lineup applied the use of the entire field, spraying hits into the gaps and scored runners from scoring position. Right fielder Ryan OHearn swung 3-4 against the ULM pitching rotation and legged out two runs.
I think just going into it we had an approach to make sure we didnt get too big against the left hander. Our guys did a good job staying in the middle of the field, Pierce said.
Pierce said that SHSUs strong plate appearances are attributed to fighting with two strikes.
Were starting to understand with two strikes borderline pitches umpires are going to call so we got to be able to fight those off and we had some guys doing that with great at bats.
SHSU will travel to Austin to square off against the University of Texas Tuesday at 5 p.m.