From SFA Athletics
HUNTSVILLE, TX (Press Release)- One big inning by Sam Houston State overshadowed an otherwise solid performance by the Stephen F. Austin baseball team in the `Jacks 7-3 setback to the Bearkats in the opener of a three-game Southland Conference series at Don Sanders Baseball Stadium on Friday night.
Lumberjack starter Erik Nouis (1-3) gave up six runs and seven of the 11 Sam Houston State hits in the home half of the second inning, forcing SFA to play catch-up for the remainder of the league battle. Four of the six SFA hits came off the bat of second baseman Nick Ramoswho finished 4-for-5 at the dish with a pair of doubles and one of the two RBI by the visitors.
Those six early SHSU runs made a winner out of Bearkat starter Sam Odom, who worked six innings of three-run baseball in moving to 4-0 in 2016. Ramos tallied the lone SFA hit of the final three innings and Matthew Dickey as well as Conner Fikes finished with one hit apiece through the course of the nine-inning affair.
Easing his way through the first frame by allowing just one baserunner thanks to an infield hit, Nouis hit his only rough patch of the game in the second when the Bearkats started the frame with four-straight hits that included an RBI triple by Matt Broadbent as well as an RBI double off the steel of Spence Rahm.
It was the hit by Lance Miles that turned out to be the game's deciding factor as the junior's one-out single plated the eventual game-winning score. Sam Houston State added their penultimate insurance run on an RBI groundout by Robie Rojas before the frame came to a merciful end.
Representing the `Jacks only baserunner though the first three innings, Ramos hammered his second double of the game down the left field line to lead off the fourth. Two batters later,Garrett McMullen pushed the junior across home plate by registering his lone RBI on a groundout to short.
Continuing to chip away the Bearkats' lead in the fifth, SFA boasted two baserunners in the same inning for the first time after Tyler Boxwell drew a one-out walk and Dickey followed with his single. The first of two SHSU errors helped the `Jacks cause as Tyler Kendrickreached on a fielder's choice. A miscue by the Bearkats' shortstop, though, allowed Boxwell to score from second, making it a 6-2 ballgame.
Boxwell hustled across home for the final time on Ramos' RBI groundout in the visitor's portion of the seventh, trimming the `Jacks deficit to 6-3. In the bottom of that frame, Zach Smith punched a two-out, RBI double to left-center, giving the Bearkats their final run of the game.
Miles went a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate for SHSU with his two RBI as well as a run. Braodbent added a pair of hits and scored a run for the home team.
SFA will try and bounce back on Saturday afternoon when the teams meet for the middle game of the series at 3:00 p.m. Junior right-hander Jarred Greene will get the start for the `Jacks