Sam Houston State Played Some Terminator Baseball on its Opponents
"I'm just a big giant kid out here having fun," he said Saturday afternoon not long after having launched himself into the air to rob Texas Tech's Hunter Redman of extra bases.
But the whole Sam Houston State squad appeared to be having fun. The roster's packed with kids from the Houston area, kids who, as Plucheck said, were raised on the Astros and bleed Astros colors. And they relished their chance to play in Minute Maid Park, punishing the big boys and proving to everybody that their team is as good as anybody in the state of Texas.
The Houston College Classic, Plucheck said, "is just the epitome of our success the last two years, being able to get an invitation to play here against these quality opponents that have track records. I'm really proud of the guys. I'm really happy to be here. "
The hitting stars for Sam Houston State were first baseman Ryan O'Hearn who was only three-for-13 for the tourney but with a triple, a monster homer, three runs, and four RBI. Right fielder Hayden Simerly was four-for-12 with a triple, a homer, two runs, and two RBI, and third baseman Carter Burgess who was six-for-11 with a run and a RBI.
"Our kids really feel like they belong in this tournament with these types of teams," Pierce said. "That's what they're doing. They're coming out here and doing what they've been doing, and we've just had some success in this tournament so far."
The relentless Bearkat machine finally found a pitching staff to shut them down, though UT did struggle to get a 3-2 lead, going through three pitchers and constantly dealing with Bearkat base runners. And it might have been the aggressive, relentless nature of the Bearkats that doomed the team more than UT's pitching, as Sam Houston State had one runner tossed out at the plate and another nailed at third base, giving Texas gift-wrapped outs.
The Texas Longhorns went 3-0 for the tournament, winning pitching heavy-contests each night, barely plating enough runs for the win. But if this weekend's any indication, the future of Texas baseball might be relocating from Austin and Houston to the Piney Woods town of Huntsville. There's a reason the Bearkats have made the NCAA postseason so many times this past decade. It's a damn good baseball team that's fun to watch. Luke Plucheck might not make the Sports Center highlights every night for the rest of the season, but it won't be due to a lack of effort.