Bearkats belt three homers to pick up second win

HOUSTON -- Sam Houston State isn't intimidated by the competition in the Houston College Classic. The Bearkats won their second game in as many days in the three-day tournament, with another offensive onslaught against a Big 12 team.

On Saturday, the Bearkats pounded three home runs, two by Ryan O'Hearn, in beating Texas Tech, 10-6, at Minute Maid Park. On Friday, Sam Houston routed TCU, 9-4.

"Our kids really feel like they belong in the tournament with these teams," Bearkats coach David Pierce said. "And that's what they're doing. They're coming out here and doing what they've been doing. That's why we've had success in the tournament.

"What we're trying to create is a culture that we feel we can play with anybody in the country. The bottom line is we're good baseball players."

Southland Conference member Sam Houston (10-1), which has played in the last two NCAA Regionals, amassed 15 hits against the Red Raiders (8-3), who have lost two straight games after entering the tournament on an eight-game win streak. Jake Barrios and Ryan Long had two hits each for Tech.

Hayden Simerly smoked a ball to right field for a home run in Sam Houston's five-run second inning that gave the Bearkats a 6-2 lead. Simerly, leadoff hitter Colt Atwood and Anthony Azar had three hits apiece for the Bearkats.

"There's not one guy in our lineup that you can pitch around," said Sam Houston left fielder Luke Plucheck, whose diving catch in left field on Friday made ESPN SportCenter's second-best play of the day. Plucheck made another diving catch on Friday, robbing Hunter Redman of a hit leading off the last of the eighth.

O'Hearn had four RBIs, with a sacrifice fly to the right-field warning track. His first-inning solo homer went to left field and his two-run home run in the sixth inning went to right field.

"It was a lot of fun, especially being here in this big stadium, and to help my team," O'Hearn said. "We're glad to have a good showing."

Neither starting pitcher made it out of the third inning. Sam Odom (2-0) got the win in relief of Andrew Godail, and Texas Tech starter Matt Withrow (1-1) took the loss.

Richard Dean is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.