wesneski

Sam Houston State junior righthander Hayden Wesneski fires a pitch during Tuesday's Southland Conference Tournament game against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at Constellation Field in Sugar Land.

The top-seeded Sam Houston State Bearkats have already been pushed to the brink of elimination, just one game into the Southland Conference Tournament.

One swing was all it took for eighth-seeded Texas A&M-Corpus Christi to hand Sam Houston State a 2-1 defeat in the opening round of the tournament Wednesday afternoon at Constellation Field.

Bearkat starter (31-24) Hayden Wesneski had allowed six hits and zero runs through 6 2/3 innings, with Sam Houston State leading 1-0. However, with two runs in the top of the seventh, Enrique Sanchez Jr. launched a two-run home run to put the the Islanders (31-24) ahead for good.

Immediately prior to Sanchez's at-bat, home plate umpire Joe Harris didn't call a potential batter's interference that would have resulted in the third out of the inning.

The loss drops the Bearkats down into the bottom of the bracket. They will now play an elimination game at noon on Thursday against the loser of No. 4 Incarnate Word and No. 5 McNeese.

A&M-Corpus Christi used six pitchers on the day and kept the Bearkat bats quiet for the most part, with Sam Houston State's first hit of the game coming in the bottom of the fourth on a solo home run from junior catcher Gavin Johnson.

Wesneski received the loss, falling to 8-4 on the year. He handed the ball off to Dominic Robinson, who tossed the final 2 1/3 innings, retiring all seven batters he faced.

The Kats had a chance to tie the game in the eighth, when an error allowed leadoff batter Clayton Harp to reach second base. Hunter Hearn then walked, and a grounder by Johnson moved both into scoring position. However, A&M-Corpus Christi reliever David Worrell responded with strikeouts of Eric Bohnert and Jackson Loftin to stifle Sam Houston State's last quality scoring opportunity.