Bearkat baseball gets series win over McNeese State
Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, April 24, 2012 02:04
The Sam Houston State baseball team continued to roll through Southland Conference opponents, after winning two-of-three games on the road against McNeese State last weekend.
The Bearkats have not lost a conference series all season and are inching closer to competing in the Southland Conference tournament, where they will compete for the Southland Conference Title.
For the first time in school history, the Bearkats are ranked in all four major baseball polls. The highest ranking was 22 in the Collegiate Baseball poll, dropping two spots since last week.
Due to a rain delay on Friday night, the Bearkats (28-11, 17-4 SLC) had to play a double-header on Saturday against the Cowboys. Solid pitching from Sophomore Caleb Smith and Senior Justin Jackson led the Kats to 5-2 and 4-0 victories.
Jackson had the most notable start in game two of the double-header, as he took a no-hitter into the ninth inning, allowing only two hits and no runs. He allowed only two base runners in the first eight innings before giving up back-to-back singles in the bottom of the ninth in his first complete game of his college career. Jackson is now 7-3 and was named Southland Conference baseball "pitcher of the week."
"It felt good to go out there and give my team a chance to win the ball game and win the series," Jackson said. "I was just trying to repeat pitches and let them put the ball into play and let my defense work for me."
This season, Jackson has a 2.85 earned run average in 10 starts, is holding opponents to a .227 batting average and has recorded 50 strikeouts—10 one which from his shut out on Saturday.
Although he didn’t nearly throw a no-hitter, Smith’s start was solid and led to a win. He pitched eight innings, giving up two runs on three hits en route to a 5-2 victory for the Bearkats. He now has a 6-2 mark. Michael Burchett came out and pitched the ninth inning in relief.
Shortstop Corey Toups and second baseman Jessie Plumlee led the Bearkats at the plate with two RBIs each. The Bearkats were also able to score another run in the seventh inning off of a Cowboy error.
In the second game, Toups and Plumlee once again had RBIs that contributed to the 4-0 shutout. Center fielder Colt Atwood and left-fielder Luke Plucheck knocked in the other two runs.
The Bearkats dropped game three of the series with a 5-1 loss on Sunday afternoon to give them their fourth conference loss of the season. Cody Dickson got the start for Sam Houston but lasted only two and one third innings, giving up one run off of one hit and striking out two. Dickson took the loss and is now 4-3. He was the first of five Sam Houston pitchers. Jordan Bunch, Allen Scott, Michael Oros and Brandon Bergen all pitched in relief.
The one Bearkat run came off the bat of catcher Shea Pierce as he hit a solo home run in the eighth inning.
After this series, the Bearkats still hold down the Southland Conference with a four game lead over Southeastern Louisiana and Texas-Arlington.
The Bearkats return home this week for a five game home stand where they will face Houston Baptist, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Texas A&M.
They will first play Houston Baptist on Tuesday night at home for a non-conference match-up. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.
For more information, visit gobearkats.com.