The Sam Houston State Bearkats (4-4) beat the NR/No. 22 Texas Longhorns, 5-3, in non-conference action Tuesday night behind strong outings from three different pitchers at UFCU Disch-Falk Field. Tyler Eppler (1-0) picked up the win for the Bearkats, pitching 5 2/3 innings and allowing two runs on four hits. Logan Boyd pitched two innings and allowed one run while Jason Simms pitched the final 1 1/3 innings for his first save of the season.
Cameron Cox (0-1) pitched four innings for Texas (6-2) and allowed three runs on three hits. Offensively, Mark Payton continued his hot start, going 3-for-4 with a triple one RBI. Ben Johnson was 1-for-2 with one run scored.
The Bearkats got on the board first in the top of the second inning. Hayden Simerly led the off the inning with a double to right field and was brought home on a triple by Ryan O’Hearn. Kevin Miller followed with an RBI groundout to score O’Hearn, giving the Bearkats a 2-0 lead.
The lead increased to 3-0 in the fourth inning on a solo home run by first baseman Spence Rahm.
Texas got to Eppler and started to rally in the bottom of the sixth inning. Johnson picked up his first career hit on a single to left field and then scored on a triple by Matt Moynihan. Taylor Stell followed with an RBI groundout to cut the lead to 4-2. Sam Houston State went to the bullpen and brought in Boyd, who retired C.J Hinojosa on a fly out to right.
The Bearkats added two unearned runs in the seventh off Travis Duke. Colt Atwood delivered an RBI single and scored later in the inning on a sacrifice fly by Anthony Azar.
In the bottom of the eighth, Mark Payton tripled home pinch-runner Weston Hall to cut the lead to 5-3. The Longhorns could not cut into the deficit against Simms, who retired all four batters he faced.
Texas travels to No. 15/6 Stanford this weekend. Friday’s game starts at 7:30 p.m. Central with a 3 p.m. start on Saturday and Sunday. All three games will be carried live on AM 1300 The Zone. Gametracker live stats will be be available on TexasSports.com with live Twitter updates @Texas_Baseball.
Notes: Jeremy Montalbano made his first career start for Texas, catching all nine innings…freshman outfielder Ben Johnson picked up his first career hit in the sixth inning…Mark Payton is now hitting .536 (15-for-28) through eight games with 11 RBI, two doubles and two triples…the Longhorns’ 6-2 start matches the best start through eight games since the 2009 team started 11-0 (2010 team also started 6-2)…Sam Houston State snapped an 11-game losing streak to Texas, dating back to May 14, 2000.