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March 30, 2014

SHSU BASEBALL — Free passes cost Bearkats in series finale against Northwestern State

Demons take two of three-game series against Sam Houston State at Don Sanders Stadium

HUNTSVILLE — The Bearkats didn’t get the pitching they needed against Northwestern State.

Sam Houston State pitching finished the weekend with 13 walks, 11 hit batters and nine wild pitches.

Five of the hit batters were in Sunday’s 3-1 loss to the Demons, who took the Southland Conference weekend series two games to one.

Jason Simms pitched five innings Sunday, gave up five hits and three runs (two earned) but it wasn’t enough to make up for the Bearkats’ mishaps.

“It’s just one of those days we didn’t pitch well at that moment of truth, when we needed to,” Sam Houston head coach David Pierce said.

Sam Houston trailed in the first inning after an RBI single by Chase Daughdrill brought in Joel Atkinson, who along with Cort Brinson was hit by a pitch to reach base.

The difference was made in the fifth inning with Edwin Gomez’s RBI single to right field to score C.J. Webster, who got on with a single of his own.

But a throwing error in the outfield allowed Nick Heath to score an extra run in the sequence.

Webster and Heath, who had been hit by a pitch to reach base, both moved up a bag after Simms let go of a wild pitch.

The play pushed the Demons’ advantage to 3-0.

“They’re an interesting type of hitting approach team,” Sam Houston head coach David Pierce said. “They really sit on top of home plate and dare you to throw it inside. So you’ve got to be able to throw the ball middle-inside and outside and by doing that we get some easy outs.”

Yet nothing came easy to the Bearkats, who despite outhitting the Demons 7-6 on Sunday, committed two errors to Northwestern State’s none.

Sam Houston’s lone score came in the eighth inning on a line drive home run to right field by Hayden Simerly, his third of the season.

It was just too little, too late.

“We were absent on the timely hits for the most part, especially in the first game and of course the third one,” Simerly said. “As far as it goes, we can’t panic at all. The potential and talent we have on this team is unlike anything I’ve seen at this university and if we panic, the losses are only going to keep piling up.

“All you’ve got to do is stay in the game and that’s the one thing we’re absent on right now. We’ve just got to be hard-nose guys and stay in the game all 27 outs.”

Sam Houston returns to the field Friday to begin a three-game road series against Oral Roberts.

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