After a slow start to the season, the Sam Houston State University Bearkat baseball team swung at the University of Oklahoma and came out on top with a series sweep over the weekend.
The Bearkats looked to continue that momentum against a four to three Baylor Bears team that came into the day with a three game win streak to protect as well.
The Bears jumped out to an early one to nothing lead when junior Aaron Dodson hit his first home run of the season to right field in the top of the second.
Baylor scored again in the top of the third after a wild pitch from starter senior Greg Belton got a runner to third with one out for the Bears to take a two to nothing lead.
SHSU would not go down without a fight and managed to manufacture a run in the bottom of the seventh after junior third baseman Matt Broadbent hit a leadoff double to left field and the Bearkats drove him in, where the gap was closed to two to one.
The Bears looked to answer back in the top of the eighth with runners on second and third and no outs. The Bearkats managed to work their way out of the pinch with a pop up, tag out at second, and a fly ball to center field.
Baylor scored again in the top of the ninth with three runs scored on three hits, all with two outs, to take the lead five to one.
The Bearkats were unable to score the four runs necessary in the bottom of the ninth and fell to Baylor five to one.
“They outplayed us,” said SHSU Head Coach Matt Deggs said. “They beat us at our own game. Winning is hard. We let it slip away with two outs.”
This ended the Bearkats three game win streak that they had put together after the weekend series against Oklahoma.
The Bearkats opened the weekend set on Friday with a four to three win.
Senior starting pitcher Sam Odom gave up three runs on three hits with five walks and seven strikeouts in eight innings of work.
Junior third baseman Broadbent led the way offensively with two hits and two RBIs in four plate appearances.
“Team full of grinders,” Deggs said. “Sammy gave us the opportunity to win. We got some big hits.”
Saturday proved to be a very similar story for the Bearkats with a seven to two victory authored by good pitching and good offense.
The starter for that contest was junior right hander Heath Donica, who worked five innings and gave up two runs on two hits as well as two walks and two strike outs.
The bullpen came in and blanked OU the rest of the way, where three walks was lost, as well as five strikeouts.
The offensive star on the afternoon was freshman outfielder Riley McKnight who reached base in all four of his plate appearances with one walk, three hits, and an all-important two RBIs.
“It was exciting,” McKnight said. “We were anxious to start the season, but now we’ve settled in.”
Sunday’s game was the most exciting of the three with 11 innings needed to determine a victor.
Sam once again came away with the victory off the back of six stellar innings from freshman right hander Riley Gossett, who struck out four and walked one while only two runs slipped his hands.
Sophomore outfielder Bryce Johnson also extended his hit streak to 21 games which is tied for fourth in school history.
“The first couple innings were a little nerve wracking,” Gossett said. “This win just inspires us. Everything is paying off.”
The Bearkat bullpen was the MVP of the weekend where it only gave up one run in 10 innings of work and eight strikeouts.
Rice comes in with a three and five record and this will be their first away game of th