Wichita State down, Texas State next for SHSU baseball

Sam Houston State baseball clinched their 2015 opening series with a 9-3 win over Wichita State to win the series 2-1.

It all came down to Sunday’s game at Don Sanders Stadium after the Bearkats and Shockers split the first two games of the series. Junior left handed pitcher Logan Boyd took the mound Sunday in hopes of clinching the first series for the Kats’ 2015 season and head coach Matt Deggs first series win at SHSU.

“I think the whole game revolved around Logan Boyd’s performance on the mound,” Deggs said. “He set a great tone for us on the mound.”

Boyd controlled the game from the beginning as the Shockers could not find a way to get momentum against the Bearkat defense. Boyd pitched six strong innings allowing only five hits and striking out nine, tying a career best. Boyd got some help from his offense as the Kats built a 4-0 lead in the second and a 6-1 lead in fourth.

“It was truly a great game,” Boyd said. “[The lead] just helps to relax, and whenever you’re out on top, you just want to be winning.”

Deggs said he liked what he saw from his team in the opening series against a tough Wichita State squad who ranked 32nd in the nation.

“We challenged our pitchers to go out and set the tone and they did a great job,” Deggs said. “We challenged ourselves to a Super Regional type setting today. It was winner take all, and our guys played that way.”

Hayden Simerly, Colt Atwood and Travis Lee were hot at the plate as the three combined 7-of-14 with seven RBIs on the day. The three senior outfielders and senior second baseman Ryan Farney recorded at least two hits as Farney added two runs and one RBI.

“We came out swinging the bats really well,” Simerly said. “We didn’t really give up. We didn’t think six was enough so we kept pilling it on.”

The Kats started the series off slow in their opening game Friday but eventually got past the first game jitters and got the offense and defense rolling. The game featured three lead changes, all after the fifth inning. The Kats pulled away in the bottom of the eighth inning with four runs. Atwood showed why he has the talent to be in the MLB. Atwood went 4-of-5 from the plate with two RBIs, including an RBI single in the deciding eighth inning for the Kats.

“That was a classic Friday night battle,” Deggs said. “We embrace the grind. We embrace the fight.”

Two hits were the difference in Saturday’s 4-3 loss as the Shockers blasted two two-run home runs. Despite sophomore right hander Sam Odom throwing an eight strikeout gem with no walks, the two pitches that the Shockers took advantage of gave SHSU thier first loss of the season.

The Kats felt the opening series win was a big statement to begin the 2015 season as they prepare for their next game today.

“We just have to keep that momentum going into Tuesday and next weekend,” Boyd said.

Texas State hosts SHSU tonight at Bobcat Ballpark. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.

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