The Sam Houston Bearkat Baseball started off Battle of the Piney Woods: Diamond Edition with a series lead over the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks in Nacogdoches two games to one.
The series started Friday, March 25 where the Lumberjacks took the first game of the series in a close one 2-1.
The one difference in that ballgame was a two-run homerun in the bottom of the first inning by senior catcher Jake Zarrello.
Freshman outfielder Lane Brewster was able to tack a run in on a single in the fifth inning, but that was all the Bearkats could muster in the loss.
The second game of the series the next day, while also close, was a lot higher scoring. The Bearkats won the second game 9-7 in a thriller.
The Lumberjacks at one point were up 5-3 after a two-run home run by senior outfielder Cameron Crawford in the fourth inning to break a 3-3 tie.
After the Bearkats tied it up in the sixth inning via a run-batted-in single by sophomore catcher Wes Folse, Sam Houston strung together a strong four-run seventh inning to take the lead.
They were led by none other than the junior transfer from Cisco College Carlos Contreras, who has made his presence known since arriving at Sam Houston. Contreras had two homers in this game, including a three-run blast in the inning. He would finish the game with a game high six RBI’s.
The Bearkats then called on senior pitcher Lance Lusk to get the two-inning save to seal game two.
The rubber match of this three-game series, unlike the first two games, was not even close as the Bearkats klawed the Lumberjacks 9-2 off of another amazing performance by Contreras.
To put it in wider perspective, Contreras was responsible for all but one run of Sam Houston’s 10 that crossed home plate.
He started early with a grand slam in the first inning that was sent a long way. The next inning, he hit a two RBI single to make it 6-0 Bearkats.
Contreras would then hit a two-run double in the fourth inning. He was not finished there.
He would then put another exclamation mark in the sixth inning with a solo home run into center field.
On the weekend, Contreras on his own outscored the Lumberjacks 15 runs to 12 and set a school record with nine RBI’s in a game on Sunday.
Junior pitcher Matt Dillard also had a great game going seven innings on two runs (one earned) on seven hits and two walks while striking out nine to earn the win.
The Bearkats improved to 14-10 overall and 6-3 in the Western Athletic Conference as they head into another tough Tuesday night match against ranked No. 20 team Texas State Bobcats at 6:30 p.m.