GoBearkats.com Catcher Anthony Azar’s walk-off RBI single to left field gave Sam Houston State a 9-8 victory in 10 innings in a non-conference game with Houston Baptist Tuesday at Don Sanders Stadium.
The two teams combined for 32 hits and 17 runs. Azar went 4-for-6 with three RBIs and Bearkat first baseman was 4-for-5.
Taylor Holt (1-0) was the winning pitcher, one of six hurlers for Sam Houston (7-5). Tyler Hoelscher (0-1) took the loss for the Huskies.
Shea Pierce and Jake Arrington each hit solo home runs for the Bearkats.
Colt Atwood stepped to the plate to lead off the 10th inning and doubled to center field. That brought up first baseman Ryan O’Hearn, who collected four hits in five previous trips to the plate.
Houston Baptist made the decision to intentionally walk O’Hearn, which set up nicely for Azar, who was also 4-of-5 from the plate.
Azar finished the game with a walk-off hit, part of a 3-RBI night for the sophomore transfer from The Woodlands.
Pierce noted that it wasn’t a fluke for Houston Baptist to come out and compete the way it did. The Huskies just beat UT Arlington on Sunday, 15-1.
“I really believe that Houston Baptist is a team that’s building,” Pierce said. “I think we’re both in building stages right now. They’re playing with a lot of energy and they just came off a big win against UTA. They have quality at-bats and they battled at home plate.”
The Bearkats caught fire in the sixth inning and scored six runs after trailing the Huskies 4-1. Senior right fielder Jake Arrington saw the fastball he was waiting for and nailed it for the 330 feet right field fence.
That wasn’t enough for Sam Houston, and definitely not enough for the coach’s son, Shea Pierce.
The first pitch that came Pierce’s way, he bombed it to the exact spot Arrington did, and just like that the Bearkats were only down 4-3 thanks to a pair of solo home runs.
For both Arrington and Pierce the homers were their first of the season.
“It was a defensive struggle but we just kept fighting back, never gave up,” Arrington said. “I know with our offense we’re going to put up runs and hits. We just kept battling back and it worked out for us.”
Arrington joked that the younger Pierce came in and stole the show from him with the following blast to the same spot, but also admitted how much it did for the morale of the team in the dugout.
“I mean, I liked it,” Arrington added. “We’re putting up runs, he kind of stole my limelight but it was good. I liked it. Any time you get home runs, especially back-to-back, people get pumped and excited to play the game again. That was the inning we put up six runs.”