WACO – In less than three hours on Tuesday night, Sam Houston State played what turned into a tale of two games against Baylor. It may have counted for just one victory, but the RPI boost will go much farther.
Sam Houston defeated Baylor, 7-4, overcoming a two-run deficit in the seventh after dominating much of the early innings defensively and on the mound. The Bearkats are expected to make a major jump in the RPI after knocking off a Bears team listed as the No. 9 team nationally entering the evening.
The Kats (24-9) fell behind thanks to a four-run Baylor sixth but responded in the seventh, drawing four walks, including three with the bases loaded off a pair of Bears (20-13) relievers, to re-take the lead before adding an insurance run on a Lance MilesRBI single in the eighth and Clayton Harp two-out homer in the ninth.
Making his first collegiate start, Dominic Robinson tossed 5 1-3 innings, scattering nine hits while working around Baylor baserunners in each of his frames. The left-handed freshman allowed two runs, both after he exited, while fanning four without allowing a walk.
Kyle Backhus (2-2) picked up the victory, showing strong poise on the mound after a pair of defensive miscues led for four Baylor runs in the sixth. The freshman set down three of four hitters faced including stranding a runner at third with an inning-ending strikeout.
Nick Mikolajchak, who entered the night second in the Southland Conference for saves, picked up his sixth, setting down three-straight in the ninth to follow up two smooth hitless innings from Colin Cameron.
The win was the fifth-straight for the program in Waco and evened the two-game season series with Baylor. Sam Houston continues its nine-game road trip on Thursday, making the quick turnaround with a 3 p.m. tilt at Stephen F. Austin. The Bearkats have won 17-consecutive Southland Conference games, setting a new league record, including a 12-0 start this season.