After a three game sweep of Abilene Christian University over the weekend, the Bearkats traveled to Houston where they fell four to three to the University of Houston Cougars.
SHSU looked to extend their seven game win streak and use some of the momentum from their five straight conference series wins and three of four being sweeps.
A single from senior in fielder Zach Smith drove in junior in fielder Lance Miles in the top of the second to give the Bearkats an early one to nothing lead.
UH loaded the bases in the bottom of the second with no outs and scored three runs to take a three to one lead.
Junior in fielder Taylor Beene hit his second home run in three games in the top of the fifth to close the gap three to two.
The Cougars answered back in the bottom of the fifth to go back up two runs, four to two.
The Bearkats had runners on the corners with one out in the top of the ninth for their last hurrah.
A wild pitch scored Rojas from third, but that was all the Bearkats could cook in the frame and they fell along with their win streak, four to three to UH.
The weekend opened for the Bearkats with a strong showing against ACU, to the tune of a six to three win.
The star of the show was senior right handed pitcher Miles Manning, who came out of the bullpen in the seventh and after he walked the first batter he faced.
Manning promptly induced a grounder and got out of the inning.
He found himself in another sticky situation in the next inning but a play that involved the pitcher, catcher, third baseman, the shortstop, a groundout and a fantastic catch on the mound got Manning out of that frame as well.
The Bearkats came out ahead in a close game on Saturday with the final score three to one favoring the ‘Kats.
Junior right hand pitcher Heath Donica had another stellar performance, with seven strikeouts, five hits, and one unearned run in his seven 2/3 innings of work.
“When I got to the two-strike counts, it was about executing pitches and being able to finish,” Donica said. “Our defense makes it easy because they make all the routine plays.”
Beene came up clutch for the Bearkats in the seventh inning with the club’s 15 and his first home run to break the stalemate and give the Bearkats a 2-1 lead.
“He’s got a little sneaky pop,” Head Coach Matt Deggs said. “That’s what his batting practice looks like every day so it’s just a matter of having a great approach. That was a huge lift right there”
Sunday’s battle was a much more contested affair with the Bearkats coming away victorious two to one in a 13 inning affair.
In the top of the ninth an ACU hitter hit a home run, with a runner on first, which would have erased the Bearkats one run lead and given the Wildcats a 2-1 victory.
However, in a strange turn of events, the batter passed the base runner while the base runner was watching to make sure it wasn’t just a pop fly.
The umpires gathered and that rule results in the runner at first being called out, meaning the homer was a one run bomb, which tied the game.
“Obviously, it was a huge play in the game,” Deggs said. “The kid hit the ball out of the ballpark and he did pass the runner. We’re fortunate the umpire got the crew together and got the call right. It’s been since 2007 since I’ve been a part of something like that.”
It took the Bearkats four innings to capitalize on the gaff but a triple from freshman in fielder Andrew Fregia with one out in the bottom of the 13th set the stage for Lance Miles to drive Fregia in with a sac fly to center.
“I was on time and I felt really good on the first curveball I missed,” Fregia said. “I was telling myself to wait on the fastball and I jumped all over it. They have a pretty good centerfielder but when I saw him miss it I was thinking third all the way.”
Senior right hand pitcher Greg Belton had another strong performance working four and 1/3 with four strikeouts and two hits for his third appearance of the weekend.
“If I already closed on Friday and Saturday, my goal coming out of the pen on Sunday is to get it done no matter it takes or no matter how much energy it takes,” Belton said. “I’ve never had a week like that one in my life.”
The Bearkats come back to the Don Sanders Stadium for a double header on Wednesday against the Texas Southern University Tigers.
The Tigers aren’t having their ideal season, with a 16-19 record, and a 6-9 record away from home.
Sophomore in fielder Gerrreck Jimenez leads the Tigers at the plate with a .352 average, two homeruns, eight stolen bases, and 18 walks.
Senior Robert Pearson has been the go to pitcher out of the bullpen for the Tigers, with 14 appearances on the season.
Pearson has struck out 27 and recorded five saves in his 28 2/3 innings pitched.
The first game is at 3 p.m. today and the second game is at 6:30 at home.