Sam Houston State baseball host Texas A&M-Corpus Christi this weekend as the Bearkats enter their final 10 games of the 2015 regular season.
The Kats enter the weekend series having won 10 of their last 13 games. The Kats have won their last three weekend series, including a series victory against top-25 Oklahoma Sooners.
SHSU currently sits in a tie with Central Arkansas for third place in the Southland Conference with a 13-8 SLC record. The Kats trail Northwestern State with a 16-7 record and current leader Southeastern Louisiana with a 17-4 record. Trailing the Kats and Bears are the 14-10 Cowboys of McNeese State and 12-9 Huskies of Houston Baptist.
“We can’t control what the other teams do,” senior outfielder Colt Atwood said. “We have to win the games we can and be ready to go in the tournament, and do whatever it takes to win at that point.”
The Kats dropped two SLC games with NSU this season and will not play SLU at all this season. The Kats also dropped their series with UCA.
SHSU entered the 2015 season as favorites to record its fourth straight SLC title this season. To reach the NCAA Regionals, the Kats need to win the SLC tournament and earn the automatic bid. If SHSU does not win the SLC regular season title, all hope is not lost as the Kats are one of hottest teams in the SLC and can make a run in the tournament.
What helps SHSU is how well the Kats have done against larger conference opponents. The Kats have won against Baylor, Texas, OU and Rice. The productivity of SHSU against such opponents will help the Kats possibly get a bid to the Regionals.
Looking through the Kats’ remaining schedule, SHSU host A&M-Corpus Christi for a three-game series this weekend then travel to Houston Baptist next weekend for another three game series. The Kats host Texas A&M on May 12 for their mid-week finale and host Lamar from May 14-16 to close out the season.
The Kats won their lone game against the Islanders in the Kleberg Bank College Classic in February. The 20-20 Islanders sit in eighth place in the SLC with a 10-11 record.
SHSU holds the advantage at the dish as the Kats bat .281 compared to the .266 of the Islanders. The Kats also hold the advantage on the mound. The Kats have a team ERA of 3.46 while the Islanders throw 3.76.
All of SHSU’s remaining conference opponents currently sit behind the Kats in the SLC standings. The TAMU game will be the final non-conference opponent that the Kats face this season.
“As a team we need to play solid baseball and take one game at a time and control what we can control,” junior catcher Collin Yelich said.
First pitch for game one between the Kats and Islanders is set for 6:30 p.m. on Friday at Don Sanders Stadium. Game two on Saturday is scheduled for 3 p.m., and the series finale begins at 1 p.m. on Sunday.