Big Inning Dooms SFA In Series Finale
March 30, 2013
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Sam Houston State scored eight unearned runs with two outs in the top of the third and scored four more in the top of the seventh to take a 14-4 win in seven innings over Stephen F. Austin in the series finale Saturday at Jaycees Field.
The win clinches the series for the Bearkats (15-12, 4-2 SLC), taking advantage of 10 SFA (12-15, 3-3 SLC) walks and three miscues, all coming in the top of the third. Both the `Jacks and `Kats finished with 10 hits, but Bearkat pitchers Caleb Smith and Jason Simms walked just two batters and had to work around just one fielding mistake behind them.
Smith allowed four runs - three earned - on nine hits in 5.1 innings with four strikeouts to square his record at 3-3 on the year before giving way to Simms, who allowed just one hit in 1.2 innings of relief.
Cameron Gann took the loss, falling to 1-4 on the season, allowing five runs - none earned - in 2.2 innings on the mound with a strikeout and four walks. The SFA bullpen did not fare much better as five relievers combined to strike out just three and walk six while allowing nine more Bearkat runs.
Hunter Dozier once again led the SFA offense, extending his hit streak to 13 games with a 2-for-4 day that included a double and an RBI single. Ricardo Sanchez and Freddy Villaobos also had two-hit ballgames, while Joseph Olson and Rene' Moreda picked up RBI in a three-run sixth inning for the `Jacks.
Gann had little trouble navigating through the first two frames, and looked to be easily through a third frame before the wheels fell off for eight unearned Bearkat runs. After retiring the first two hitters of the inning, a misstep at first base on a ground ball from Colt Atwood extended the inning, and three consecutive walks followed, including one to Anthony Azar that pushed across the first Bearkat run.
Kevin Miller followed with a sure two-run single through the left side, and after another walk, freshman Spencer Rahme made it 5-0 Bearkats with another two-run single off of reliever Kevin Bishop. One pitch later, Luke Plucheck broke the game wide open by launching his third homer of the year a three-run shot, over the left-center field fence.
Sam Houston added a run in the top of the fourth on sacrifice fly from Carter Burgess, and one in the fifth on a sacrifice fly from Greg Olson.
Dozier got a run back for SFA in the bottom of the fifth with an RBI single, and the `Jacks then put together a big threat to get back in the game in the bottom of the sixth, getting three runs to cut the score to 10-4.
Singles from Max Lamantia, Mackenzie Handel and Freddy Villalobos loaded the sacks with just one out, and a walk to Olson and a hit batter got a pair of runs in. SFA pushed across one more on a Bearkat error, but reliever Jason Simms got a huge out by striking out Dozier looking with the bases loaded to end the inning.
Sam responded with four more runs in the top of the seventh to set up the run-rule win, getting a RBI singles from Plumlee and Atwood, and bases-loaded walks from Miller and Shea Pierce.
SFA will next host Houston Baptist in a 6:30 p.m. game on Tuesday at Jaycees Field before welcoming Southland newcomer Oral Roberts to Nacogdoches for the first time next weekend for a three-game series.