Baseball falls to SFA, five win streak ends

Sam Houston State University baseball looks to get back to their winning ways.

Sunday’s game was almost like a home run derby, with five long balls being launched in the 8-4 SFA victory.

The constant wind that blew toward left center helped in the contest, with every bomb going to that part of the field.

Freshman in fielder Andrew Fregia hit his second home run in the series and even knocked them out in back to back plate appearances.

“It’s just a bump in the road,” Fregia said. “We’ll just go up to Lubbock looking to start another streak. We have to go into everything confident.”

With two outs in the fifth inning, redshirt junior in fielder Lance Miles was on third and fellow junior infielder Matt Braodbent was at the plate. A breaking ball skipped into the dirt and just past the catcher.

That was all that Miles needed to see and he dead sprinted into home, which ended the bang-bang play with a dive that had him parallel to the ground.

“The situation of the game at the time had me looking for anything to take advantage of,” Miles said. “We’ve worked on that in practice. I just had to beat the catcher to the plate.”

Saturday’s contest was a much higher scoring bout with a Bearkat 8-6 win.

The Kats gave up two runs in the first but bounced back in a big way and scored four runs in the first two innings to chase SFA starter junior right hit pitcher Jarred Greene to win the game.

“They aren’t gonna flinch,” SHSU Head Coach Matt Deggs said. “We came back, hit the ball hard, and responded. There’s a lot of confidence in this dugout over here.”

Sophomore outfielder Bryce Johnson and Fregia both smacked one out of the park but Johnson had a massive day with three hits and three RBIs in just four at bats.

“For the most part, we were seeing the ball well,” Johnson said. “I can’t tell you how many games we’ve been giving up runs in the first inning but we embrace it and come back and fight each inning.”

Senior pitcher Greg Belton had another big game for the Kats and notched his sixth save on the season as well as two strikeouts in his one and one-third innings pitched.

“My team has the confidence in me to go out there and close the game out there for them,” Belton said. “It’s a great feeling.”

Friday went the Bearkats’ way thanks to another strong performance from junior Sam Odom, who worked six innings of two run ball with four strikeouts.

The second inning proved to be massive for the Bearkats, with six runs on seven hits in the frame.

SFA scored runs in the fourth, fifth, and seventh but fell 7-3 to the Bearkats.

That’s what the Bearkats hope for when they take on the Texas Tech Red Raiders in a double header on Wednesday.

When the Raiders faced off against the Bearkats in the fifth game of the season, Texas Tech came away victorious thanks to scoring nine of their 11 runs with two outs, with six in the disastrous third inning.

The Bearkats think they were the better team on the field that day and are headed to Lubbock with a chip on their shoulder that only a sweep would erase.

Texas Tech won’t roll over however, as they are on a 13-2 run over their last 15 games, and have a Big 12 best 11-1 conference record.

Tech is led at the plate by senior infielder Eric Gutierrez, with a .345 batting average, 32 RBIs, five home runs, and 17 walks on the season.

The Bearkats have to hope to get a lead off of the Tech starters because if they don’t they will have to score off of Tech’s deadly duo in juniors Robert Dugger and Hayden Howard.

The lefty Howard boasts a 2.01 ERA in 15 games to go along with 28 strikeouts, 10 walks, and an opponent batting average of .248.

The right handed Dugger has a 2.14 ERA in 15 games, with 36 strikeouts, eight walks, and an opponent batting average of .269.

The Bearkats also want to get back to their winning ways after SFA snapped a run of good fortune for the team, with 12 of the last 13 games being won, and a 10 game conference win streak included in that.

After the Texas Tech series, the Bearkats travel to San Antonio to take on the University of Incarnate Word Cardinals.

UIW has a league worst 3-9 conference record, as well as a 9-24 record overall, but the Cardinals are not to be discarded.

The Cardinals managed to take a game against the fourth place McNeese Cowboys, so the Bearkats have to keep their guard up if they want to maintain their third place spot.

The Cardinal to watch out for at the dish is senior catcher Christian Divelbiss, who has 15 RBIs, two home runs, a triple, and 14 walks.

The leader on the mound for the Cardinals is sophomore right hander John Shull.

Shull leads the team in innings pitched with 44 and 1/3, as well as strikeouts with 31, and ERA with a 3.65 mark. Shull has also only walked 10 batters on the season.

The Bearkats play Texas Tech in a double header on Wednesday and UIW in a weekend set all of which are on the road.


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