Sam Houston State defeats UNO behind great pitching and timely hitting

Story by Wyatt Vaughn, senior at Holy Cross School

On a beautiful evening at Maestri Field, the UNO Privateers were taking on the Sam Houston State Bearkats. After starting off 6-1 on the season the Privateers have struggled of late, losing seven of their past 13, putting their overall record at 12-8, but just 2-4 in conference play. On the other side, the Bearkats of Sam Houston State were 13-5 on the season, and ranked 2nd in the Southland Conference at 5-1. Both teams were preparing for a tough three game weekend series that would help decide the Southland Conference standings.

Both teams started off slow offensively, combining for no runs and just two hits in the first three innings. While both offenses started out cold, each team’s starting pitchers came out blazing hot. UNO freshmen left hander Brandon Mitchell wanted to take revenge on his hometown team and did exactly that early on, by blanking the Bearkats in each of the first four, only allowing two hits and striking out two in those innings.

Mitchell was matched pitch for pitch by Hayden Wesneski of Sam Houston State. UNO didn’t put a runner on base until a walk in the 5th inning, and didn’t get a base hit until the bottom of the 7th inning.

The scoring started in the top of the 5th inning when the Bearkats loaded the bases. With a 1-0 count Diego Davila did his job and grounded out to the 3rd basemen, scoring a run from third. The Bearkats would tack on one more in the inning before Wesneski once again blanked the Privateers. In the top of the 6th the Bearkats poured on two more runs with a double from Jordan Cannon with runners on second and third to make it 4-0, and tacked on another run in the 7th and in the 9th. In the bottom of the 8th inning the Privateers finally got on the board after Antonio Gauthier hit an opposite field home run. The story of this game was the sheer dominance of Wesneski on the mound. Wesneski went the full nine innings, allowed only two runs, on five hits, and struck out 11 Privateers.

With the 6-2 loss the Privateers fall to 12-9 overall, moving them back to 12th overall in the Southland Conference, while the Bearkats move to 14-5 overall and 6-1 in the conference. The Privateers will be back in action Saturday and Sunday at Maestri Field, for games two and three of the series against Sam Houston State.