SFA Drops SLC Opening-Series To Bearkats
March 10, 2012
HUNTSVILLE, Texas - The Stephen F. Austin baseball team (6-10, 1-2 SLC) split the final two games against the Sam Houston State Bearkats (9-6, 2-1 SLC) in the Southland Conference opening-series for both teams at Don Sanders Ballpark Saturday afternoon.
Due to impending weather on Sunday, Saturday's game was moved up two hours to accommodate for a double header for the final two games of the series.
SFA, 2-2 through the first four games, will continue their eight-game road stretch when the team travels to San Marcos for a conference series against the Texas State Bobcats March 16-18.
Game 1: SFA 5, SHSU 2
SFA exploded for five runs, with three in the second and two in the third, en route to a 5-2 victory over Sam Houston in the team's first league win.
Colton Eubanks (2-1) got his second conference win as a Lumberjack, first as a starter, tossing 5.2 innings. The Caldwell native allowed two runs (both earned), scattering 10 hits, issuing two free passes and two strikeouts, in his fourth start of the season.
The `Jacks were led at the plate by Bryce Cummings, who finished three-for-five with three singles. The multi-hit performance was Cummings' third of the season, as he accounted for almost a third of SFA's offense. SFA also saw multi-hit games from Rory Myers and Freddy Villalobos. The pair finished with two hits apiece and accounted for all five RBIs in the game.
After a scoreless first for both teams, SFA got on the board in the top of the second to go up 3-0. Villalobos hit his first home run of the season, with a three-run jack over the left field wall with runners on first and second. The homer plated Myers and Jarid Scarafiotti. Myers singled to lead off the inning for the Lumberjacks before advancing to second on the error from Ryan O'Hearn that put Scarafiotti on base.
SFA would add two more in the top of the third to stake themselves to a five-run lead over Sam Houston. A two out, two RBI double down the left field line from Scarafiotti scored Loveless and Myers. After Justin Jackson (2-2) retired Hunter Dozier and Ricardo Sanchez to open the inning, Jackson issued a free pass to Loveless to put one on for the `Jacks. The following batter Loveless would move up a base, advancing to second on a single up the middle from Myers.
The Bearkats cut the SFA lead back to three in the bottom of the frame, responding with a two RBI double of their own to make it 5-2. With one out and runners in scoring position, O'Hearn doubled into left-center gap to plate John Hale and Colt Atwood, getting Sam Houston on the board in the bottom of the third. The run scoring double was the second consecutive double for the Bearkats in the inning, following Atwood's one batter prior. Hale reached base after being issued a one out walk, before advancing to third on Atwood's double down the left field line.
Game 2: SHSU 9, SFA 1
The `Jacks were outhit 12-7 in the 9-1 loss against Sam Houston in the conference series finale between the two teams.
Sanchez led SFA at the plate as the only Lumberjack with a multi-hit performance. The Houston native finished two-for-four at the plate with a pair of singles. The multi-hit showing was Sanchez's third of the season and first since being moved to the cleanup spot in the lineup for the `Jacks.
Chase Greening (0-3) took the loss, allowing six runs (all earned) in four innings of work. The Lufkin native surrendered 10 hits, striking out three and walking one, in his fourth start of the season.
Similar to the game before, both teams were scoreless through the first inning but it was Sam Houston who struck first in the bottom of the second to go up 1-0. A three-hit inning was highlighted by Corey Toups' two out RBI single with runners at the corners to score Ryan Farney. Toup's single was the second of three consecutive Bearkat singles in the inning, before Greening got Atwood to ground out with the bases loaded to get out of the jam.
Sam Houston, after Caleb Smith (1-2) retired the side in the top of the third, tacked on one more, capitalizing on three hits, to take a 2-0 lead in the bottom frame. Jake Arrington doubled into the left-center gap to drive in O'Hearn, who leadoff the inning with a single to center field.
SFA would respond in the top of the fourth, capitalizing on a bases loaded walk to Rene' Moreda to get on the board. Moreda's walk was one of three free passes issued to the `Jacks in the inning. After Sanchez leadoff the inning with a single, SFA would load the bases with walks to Villalobos and Cummings. Smith, like Greening in the second, after giving up a run would induce a groundball from Dozier to strand three on the base path.
The Bearkats would explode for seven runs across the next two innings to stake themselves out to a 9-1 that would last the rest of the way.
The `Jacks would threaten one last time in the top of the ninth when a leadoff, pinch hit double to right field from Max Lamantia and walk to Cummings put runners on first and second with no outs before Brandon Bergen retired the next three batters to close out the game.