May 18, 2007
The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks scored four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to jump ahead of the Sam Houston Bearkats, 6-5. But a two-out SFA error in the top of the ninth and a steal of home in the top of the 10th for Sam Houston gave the Bearkats a 7-6 extra-inning win to give SFA its third loss in six games. The defeat moves the Lumberjacks record to 29-25 overall and a 16-13 SLC record while SHSU moves to 34-21 overall and 18-11 in conference play.
The Lumberjacks carried a 2-0 lead for five innings after Steven Hill started off with a two-run jack to left center field. It was his 24th home run of the year. Noel Trevino, who had doubled to left field, scored on the play.
Then, through the next five innings, both teams were held scoreless as SFA's Erich Lehmann held the Bearkats hitless through the sixth inning. In the seventh, Lehmann gave up three runs off four hits to give Sam Houston a 3-2 edge.
The Bearkats kept swinging in the eighth inning as they scored two runs off three hits to distance themselves, 5-2.
In the bottom of the eighth, however, SFA took a hold of the lead. After Chris Smith reached on an error by the shortstop and moved to second when Jared Pitts singled through the left side, both runners scored on a triple down the left field line from Kevin Crabtree to come within one, 5-4. Jeff Brewer then laid down a bunt and was safe at first as Crabtree remained at third. Brewer stole second to get in scoring position before he and Crabtree scored on Zach Gardner's triple to right field to jump ahead of Sam Houston, 6-5.
But the Bearkats did not call it quits when they came up to bat in the ninth. Todd Sebek singled to shortstop and moved to second on a bunt single from Nick Zaleski. Both runners advanced a base when Heath Pugh laid down a sacrifice bunt. With one out, Jeremy Holzbach was issued a walk to load the bases for Sam Houston. Clint Mann then struck out to put the Lumberjacks one strikeout away from the win. With Heath Konesheck called in to close out the game, Keith Stein hit the ball to SFA third baseman Smith who lost the ball on the transfer, allowing Sebek to score from third and to tie the game at six.
SFA was unable to score in the bottom of the ninth and then Sam Houston regained the lead in the top of the extra frame. With one out, Austin Boggs doubled to right center and moved to third on a Konesheck wild pitch. After Sebek grounded out for the second out of the inning, Zaleski was issued a walk to put Bearkat runners on the corners. Then Sam Houston pulled a double steal, putting Zaleski on second and sending Boggs across the plate, giving the Bearkats a 7-6 lead. The Lumberjacks were unable to score in the bottom half of the innings, making the score final and still needing one win to advance to the SLC tournament.
Four Lumberjacks put two runs on the board as Gardner, Hill and Crabtree each had two RBI.
Lehmann struck out five without issuing a walk. Konesheck pitched an inning and a third, giving up one run off one hit, to take his fifth loss of the year. He had one strikeout. For the Bearkats, NCAA saves leader Luke Prihoda came in looking for his 16th save of the year, but blew the save and ended up with his fifth win of the year with a 5-4 record.
SFA and the Bearkats will play a rubber game Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. from Jaycees Field. Prior to the game, nine Lumberjack seniors - Jeremy Arterburn, Josh Bone, Kyle Freeman, Lance Luetge, Jacob Leonhardt, David Jeans, Steven Hill, Chris Smith and Chance Tabor - will be honored in their last home game.