The Bearkats capped off their slate of games against the Big 12 conference on Tuesday night against the Baylor Bears in Waco.
The Kats could’ve went 4-4 for the season against the conference, instead they went 3-5 against the powerful schools.
Both teams scored early, with the game tied at one after an inning of play.
The Bearkats scored three runs in the third thanks to doubles from freshmen outfielder Clayton Harp and infielder Andrew Fregia to take a 3-2 lead.
Baylor scored a pair in the fourth and one in the seventh to take a one run lead into the top of the ninth.
Singles from junior infielder Taylor Beene and sophomore outfielder Bryce Johnson had runners on first and second with one out to give the Bearkats some hope.
A throwing error on Baylor loaded the Bases for the Kats and recent standout star Harp was at the plate with two outs for the squad.
A Harp single into left field scored two runs and decided the game with a Bearkats win 6-5.
That improved the Kats to 22-16 overall on the season and ensured the even split against Big 12 opponents.
The trip to Waco was the last leg of a six game road stretch that featured a doubleheader against Texas Tech and a three game weekend set against the UIW Cardinals.
Texas Tech was the first opponent of the stand, with a double header on Wednesday after some inclement weather caused the Tuesday contest to be canceled.
The first game of the set was a closely contested battle that Texas Tech won 8-6, thanks to three home runs.
Only six hits were mustered for the Bearkats and it only got worse in the second game.
In the second game of the set, the Bearkats only mustered up four hits, three runs and fell to Tech 20-3 after another three home run performance by the Raiders.
Some inexperienced got some valuable time on the mound.
“I thought we had a couple of guys that needed to get out there, especially a guy like Dakota Mills,” SHSU Head Coach Matt Deggs said. “He went out there and that was the Dakota we knew we had. He threw the ball like he was capable of. Garrett Miller going out there for the first time ever on a Division I baseball field.”
The Bearkats looked to bounce back when they traveled to San Antonio to get back to conference play and back to their success against UIW.
After a subpar performance in Lubbock, the Bearkat bats came out of the dugout with something to prove in the doubleheader against the Cardinals.
In the first game, junior right hander Sam Odom had another stellar performance with nine innings, seven strikeouts, and two earned runs in the books.
The Bearkat offense was another story however and jumped all over the UIW pitching for 14 hits and 12 runs, as well as 10 stolen bases in the game.
The second game of the day proved to be even more electric for the Bearkats with 23 runs being scored on 30 hits, which is good enough for second all time for the Bearkats.
23-3 was the final score on the day, thanks to another complete game from junior right hander Heath Donica who recorded nine strikeouts and three earned runs in his performance.
“I thought Odom and Donica pitched their tails off,” Deggs said. “They did a great a great job of commanding the fastball and locating a second pitch. They were able to put guys away when they had them on the ropes.”
The Bearkat who had the biggest performance on the weekend however, was Harp, who went seven for seven in plate appearances in the second game, along with five RBIs.
“Since I was eight years old, I have been in this game, and I’ve never seen a guy get seven hits in one game,” Deggs said. “I’m so proud of that kid. He works hard and his time came and he’s living proof that when your time comes, you can make the most if it.”
Sunday’s battle was a much tamer affair, with neither team scored until the Bearkats struck first in the top of the fifth.
A solid performance from the Bearkat pitching staff secured an 8-2 victory and another Southland series sweep.
In the four innings of work the bullpen put in, UIW was held to just two hits, and only got three baserunners.
The contest also gave the ‘Kats their 14th conference win of the season, where they are now second place for the first time this season.
“It’s good to see us take care of business,” Deggs said. “We had a chance to move up and get to that 14th win this weekend. We’re going to be leading in wins and the ball is going to be in our court. That’s what we wanted and these guys went out and earned it.”
The Bearkats come back to the friendly confines of the Don this weekend to take on the ACU Wildcats in a weekend series.
On the mound, the Bearkats have to watch out for senior left hander Aaron Mason, who boasts a 2.63 ERA through nine starts on the season.
Mason has 33 strikeouts and only 10 walks in over 54 innings of work.
At the plate, freshman infielder Mark Pearson is the only Wildcat to have played in every game and he has a .274 batting average to show for it.
Pearson has seven RBIs, four doubles, and three stolen bases for ACU this season.
The first game is at 6:30 on Friday at home.