Sam Houston sweeps doubleheader, passes Southeastern into first in Southland
HAMMOND, La. – Sam Houston State swept a Senior Day doubleheader Sunday, defeating Southeastern Louisiana, 11-7 and 14-5, at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field.
The Bearkats (29-20, 18-9 Southland) moved past Southeastern (28-24, 17-10 Southland) into first place in the Southland Conference standings. The Lions sit one game back, tied with Central Arkansas (27-23, 17-10 Southland) and Incarnate Word (33-17, 17-10 Southland).
Southeastern concludes the regular season in San Antonio, Texas, with another key conference series Thursday through Saturday at Incarnate Word. Following a trip Monday to Tucson, Arizona, to face the Arizona Wildcats, Sam Houston State returns home to host Northwestern State in their final bit of Southland action. Central Arkansas wraps up its conference schedule at Lamar.
GAME 1: Sam Houston State 11, Southeastern 7
Sam Houston State started the scoring in the third inning, sending nine batters to the plate and pushing across four runs off Lion starting pitcher Mason Knopp.
Southeastern cut the deficit in half in the bottom of the inning. Bryce Steckler led off the inning with the first of his two doubles in the game. He scored on Cody Grosse’s RBI single to center field. Grosse advanced to second base on the play after the center fielder misplayed the ball and scored on Trey Harrington’s RBI single to right field.
After the Bearkats extended their lead in the fourth, Southeastern responded with four runs of their own to take the lead. Brennan Breaud led off with a single up the middle before controversy struck. Designated hitter Jonathan Parker pulled the ball down the left-field line, hooking at the foul pole. Initially ruled a home run, Southeastern head coach Matt Riser was ejected after the umpire crew overturned the call.
Back at the plate, Parker drew a walk. Connor Manola singled to load the bases before Steckler ripped his second double of the game, driving in a both Breaud and Parker. Manola and Steckler scored on groundouts to give Southeastern the lead, 6-5.
Sam Houston State regained the lead in the sixth, scratching across a pair of runs off reliever Bryce Tassin.
The Lions bounced back in the bottom of the inning to tie the game, 7-7. Cody Grosse reached on a one-out single, scoring from first on a multibase error by the center fielder on a fly ball off the bat of Preston Faulkner.
A solo home run leading off the seventh inning against Southeastern reliever Kade Granier (2-3) put the Bearkats back on top to stay. They added three more runs in the ninth.
Nick Mikolajchak (5-4) earned the win, tossing 3.1 scoreless innings to close out the game for Sam Houston State. Granier suffered the loss, allowing three runs in three innings of work.
Breaud (2-for-4), Grosse (2-for-5) and Steckler (2-for-4) each picked up multiple hits for the Lions.
Sam Houston State… 004 102 103 – 11 15 3 (28-20, 17-9 SLC)
Southeastern…………. 002 401 000 – 7 11 1 (28-23, 17-9 SLC)
Pitchers: Sam Houston State – Ballew, Seth; Wesneski, Cole (4); Beard, Steven (6); Mikolajchak, Nick (6) and Cannon, Jordan. Southeastern – Knopp, Mason; Tassin, Bryce (5); Robinson, Payton (6); Granier, Kade (6); Upton, Grant (9) and Manola, Connor.
Win-Mikolajchak, Nick (5-4) Loss-Granier, Kade (2-3) T-3:15 A-1234
HR SHSU – Harp, Clayton (5); McKnight, Riley (2).
Weather: Mostly Cloudy 82, W 3 mph
GAME 2: Sam Houston State 14, Southeastern 5
The Bearkats scored early and often in the nightcap, picking up three runs in the first off Southeastern starting pitcher Will Warren (2-7) and adding another in the second.
Going to the bullpen did not immediately slow down Sam Houston State as Bearkat first baseman Hunter Hearn ripped a leadoff triple against Jared Biddy in the third. He scored on a sacrifice fly to pad the lead.
Biddy shut down the Bearkats over the next couple of innings, but a couple of unearned runs in the sixth pushed Southeastern’s deficit to 7-0.
The Lion bats came alive in the bottom of the sixth. Grosse ripped a one-out double off the wall in right and scored on Kyle Schimpf’s eighth home run of the season, a two-run blast to right field.
Southeastern pulled closer in the seventh. Breaud chased Bearkat starting pitcher Dominic Robinson (3-0) with his second hit of the game and Parker greeted reliever Cody Wolf with a single to center. Pinch-hitter Evan Pace followed with his third home run of the season, pulling the Lions within a pair.
Seven runs over the final two innings off the Southeastern bullpen put the game out of reach.
Robinson earned the win, allowing three runs in 6.1 innings pitched. Warren suffered the loss, allowing four runs in his two-inning stint.
Breaud (2-for-4), Parker (2-for-4) and Schimpf (2-for-3) each picked up multiple hits for the Lions.
Sam Houston State… 311 002 061 – 14 12 1 (29-20, 18-9 SLC)
Southeastern…………. 000 002 300 – 5 8 3 (28-24, 17-10 SLC)
Pitchers: Sam Houston State – Robinson, Dominic; Wolf, Cody (7); Beard, Steven (7); Gossett, Riley (8) and Cannon, Jordan. Southeastern – Warren, Will; Biddy, Jared (3); Lee, Peyton (8); Robinson, Payton (8); Simanek, Justin (9) and Manola, Connor; Pace, Evan.
Win-Robinson, Dominic (3-0) Loss-Warren, Will (2-7) T-2:38 A-1257
HR SHSU – Hearn, Hunter (10); Johnson, Gavin (5).
HR SLU – Schimpf, Kyle (8); Pace, Evan (3).
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 85, NW 9 mph
Wolf, C. faced 3 batters in the 7th.
INSIDE SOUTHEASTERN BASEBALL WITH MATT RISER
A weekly 60-minute radio show, Inside Southeastern Baseball with Matt Riser airs Mondays at noon, during the season, from Blackened Brew in downtown Hammond. Riser joins host Allen Waddell at lunchtime to discuss the latest in Southeastern baseball and will be joined each week by select Lion players. Blackened Brew is located at 112 W. Thomas St.
The show airs on the flagship station of the Southeastern Sports Radio Network, KSLU 90.9 FM, online at www.LionSports.net/listenlive and via the Lions Gameday Experience, Radio FX and TuneIn Radio apps. A live video stream of the show is also available via Facebook Live at www.facebook.com/sluathletics.
LIONS GAMEDAY EXPERIENCE APP
The new Lions Gameday Experience app puts audio, stats, video, social media and more in the hands of fans. Those in attendance can also check in to earn reward points redeemable for Southeastern-related prizes. Available for both Android and iOS devices, it can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play.
DIAMOND CLUB / S CLUB
Fans interested in becoming active supporters of the baseball program are encouraged to join the Diamond Club. Lion baseball alums are encouraged to join the exclusive S Club, which is restricted to Southeastern athletic letter winners.
All membership fees and donations to both the Diamond Club and S Club (baseball) are available for the exclusive use of the Southeastern baseball program. Membership information is available by contacting the Lion Athletics Association at [email protected] or (985) 549-5091 or visiting www.LionUp.com.
For more information on Lions Baseball, follow @LionUpBaseball or @MattRiser17 on Twitter, @LionUpBaseball on Instagram and Facebook, and subscribe to the SLUathletics YouTube channel.
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