Sam Houston State baseball swept Southland Conference foe Nicholls State in a doubleheader Friday to move to .500 for the season.
“Nicholls is a good program,” SHSU head coach Matt Deggs said. “I liked the way we played today.”
Due to impeding weather heading towards Huntsville, Saturday’s game was moved to Friday in order to get two games done.
In game one, the Bearkats jumped to an early lead scoring the first run of the game in the first inning. Afterwards, the Kats had trouble at the plate against Nicholls’ starter Grant Borne, who only allowed four hits in the game. Borne pitched the entire game for the Colonels and struck out seven.
The Colonels would put themselves on the board to break the tie in the seventh inning. The game seemed to be heading into extra innings with two outs in the ninth inning before junior Miles Manning went up to the plate. Manning knocked a RBI single to seal the walk-off victory for the Kats, his first walk-off of his career.
“I was just looking [for a] fastball, and I got it,” Manning said. “There’s a first for everything.”
SHSU senior pitcher Andrew Godail pitched a gem in game one, allowing only five hits in his seven innings on the mound. Godail struck out five and allowed only one run in his outing without issuing a walk. Senior relief pitcher Alex Bisacca finished the final two innings without giving up a run and striking out two.
“We hit the ball well today, played great defense and pitchers threw strikes,” Godail said. “That’s a recipe for winning.”
In game two of the doubleheader, the Kats erupted to a six-run lead after two innings, and that was all they would need to take the sweep.
Junior Logan Boyd took the mound for the Kats and threw an eight-inning gem for SHSU. Boyd struck out five and gave up an unearned run, the only run the Colonels would score.
The first inning began just like it did in game one, then the Kats put pressure on Nicholls’ pitcher, Marc Frazier. The Kats knocked four hits in the first inning, the same amount of hits from the entire first game and quickly loaded the bases. After three straight singles to start the Kats’ run, Frazier then walked in two runners and gave up a RBI single to give the Kats a four-run lead.
Junior Spence Rahm and sophomore Hunter Courson each recorded RBIs to bring the lead to six in the second inning. Rahm combined to hit four-for-six in the two games with two RBIs. Besides the Colonels scoring a run in the fourth, that was all the offense for the rest of the game.
“We were just taking good swings on balls,” Rahm said. “[In] the past five games or so we have been squaring up a lot of baseballs and have finally gotten a lot of hits.”
The Kats moved to .500 for the season with a 12-12 record including a 6-2 record in SLC play.
“We have to continue to play hungry and continue to have hungry at-bats through the middle of the game,” Deggs said. “I still expect this team to get better.”
There will be no game on Saturday, as the series concludes Sunday at Don Sanders Stadium.
First pitch from SHSU junior Ryan Brinley is scheduled for 1 p.m.