Sam Houston State wins 7-3; UIW’s season comes to an end


The Incarnate Word baseball team walks solemnly to the outfield after its season ended Saturday with a 7-3 loss to Sam Houston State. UIW finished 29-26 for its first winning record in six years.

Jack Rogers slammed two of Sam Houston State’s four home runs Saturday afternoon en route to a 7-3 victory over the University of the Incarnate Word at Sullivan Field.

It was the regular-season finale for both teams.

The Bearkats swept all three games of the series in San Antonio to deny the Cardinals what would have been their first trip to the Southland Conference baseball tournament.

What began as a promising season for UIW ended on a seven-game losing streak.

Andrew Fregia homered in the first inning for the Bearkats, who will be the top seed in the SLC tournament next week at Sugar Land.

Rogers added a homer in the third, followed by Hearn’s shot in the fourth. Rogers hit another one in the seventh.

Records

Sam Houston 38-18, 24-6
Incarnate Word 29-26 13-17

Notebook

Despite the late-season swoon, first-year coach Patrick Hallmark led UIW to its first winning record as an NCAA Division I program.

The 13 conference wins were also the most in the team’s five years in the SLC.

UIW had posted losing overall records each of the past four seasons during its transition to Division I.

This was the first season in the wake of the transition that UIW would have been allowed to play in the tournament.

The Cardinals’ last non-losing record came in 2013, in their final year in Division II, when they posted a 26-26 record.

Their last winning record came in 2012 when they finished 24-20.

Sam Houston claims SLC title with 5-4, 10-inning win at UIW

Sam Houston State's Jordan Cannon (25) and Mac Odom (1) are congratulated by teammates after scoring in the top of the ninth inning to tie it 4-4 against Incarnate Word on Thursday night. - photo by Joe Alexander

Sam Houston State’s Jordan Cannon (25) and Mac Odom (1) are congratulated by teammates after scoring in the top of the ninth inning to tie it 4-4 against Incarnate Word on Thursday night. – photo by Joe Alexander

Trailing by two runs with two outs in the ninth inning, Sam Houston State refused to fold.

The Bearkats rallied to beat the Incarnate Word Cardinals 5-4 in 10 innings to claim the Southland Conference’s regular-season title outright.

One out away from losing the opener of a three-game series at UIW’s Sullivan Field, the Bearkats came to life when Jack Rogers singled for two RBI and a tie score at 4-4 in the top of the ninth.

Hunter Hearn added the game winner with a solo shot to lead off the 10th.

Reliever Dakota Mills closed in the bottom of the inning for his ninth save of the season, which sent UIW tumbling to its fifth loss in a row.

Ridge Rogers, Kyle Bergeron, Ryan Flores and Eddy Gonzalez all had two hits for the Cardinals, who remain in the race for a spot in next week’s SLC tournament.

UIW starting pitcher Bernie Martinez allowed four runs on seven hits in 8 and 2/3 innings.

He walked four and struck out seven.

Records

Sam Houston State 36-18, 22-6
Incarnate Word 29-24, 13-15

Incarnate Word starting pitcher Bernie Martinez struck out seven batters and pitch 8 2/3 innings against Sam Houston State. - photo by Joe Alexander

Incarnate Word starting pitcher Bernie Martinez struck out seven batters and pitched 8 2/3 innings against Sam Houston State. – photo by Joe Alexander

Coming up

Sam Houston at UIW, 2 p.m. Friday
Sam Houston at UIW, 1 p.m. Saturday

Incarnate Word outfielder Ridge Rivers is congratulated by teammates after making a catch against the wall against Sam Houston State. - photo by Joe Alexander

Incarnate Word outfielder Ridge Rogers is congratulated by teammates after making a catch against the wall against Sam Houston State. – photo by Joe Alexander

UIW hosts Sam Houston State, hopes to clinch tournament berth

The University of Incarnate Word baseball team hopes to clinch its first trip to the Southland Conference tournament this week when it hosts Sam Houston State in a three-game series.

All games will be held at Sullivan Field.

Game 1 is set for tonight at 6:30, followed by a second game on Friday at 2 p.m. The regular-season finale for both teams is scheduled for Saturday at 1 p.m.

Sam Houston State is coming off a season of historic success.

Last spring, the Bearkats won the NCAA Lubbock Regional and advanced to face Florida State in the NCAA Super Regional at Tallahassee.

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi wins, completes sweep against UIW

The Jackson Owens-fueled Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders turned back the Incarnate Word Cardinals 8-3 Sunday afternoon to complete a three-game sweep.

Owens beat UIW at the plate and on the mound.

He hit a double and a triple and drove in three runs for the Islanders, and he also pitched the last 2 and 2/3 innings, earning credit for the win.

The series was played in Corpus Christi at Chapman Field.

Records

Incarnate Word 29-23, 13-14
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 27-26, 11-16

Series notes

The Cardinals held the lead in all three games but failed to win any of them.

As a result, they fell into a tie for seventh with New Orleans leading into the final days of the SLC race.

Eight teams qualify for the SLC tournament.

UIW and New Orleans are tied for seventh at 13-14, followed by Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Nicholls, both 11-16.

Each team has three games remaining.

Looking ahead

Hoping to secure its first SLC tournament berth, UIW plays at home Thursday, Friday and Saturday against first-place Sam Houston State.

UIW is hosting a team that is coming off historic success.

Last year, the Bearkats won the NCAA Lubbock Regional and advanced to the tournament’s Super Regional round.

At that point, Florida State knocked out Sam Houston State in two straight for a berth in the College World Series.

Recently, the Bearkats (35-17, 21-6) bounced back from a four-game losing streak to win two in a row against Houston Baptist.

Sam Houston State clinched at least a share of the SLC’s regular-season title with a 9-6 victory over Houston Baptist on Sunday.

Tournament time

The SLC tournament is scheduled May 23-26 at Constellation Field in Sugar Land.

UTSA’s season ends with 76-69 playoff loss to Sam Houston State

UTSA guard Giovanni De Nicolao drives against Sam Houston State at the UTSA Convocation Center on Thursday, March 22, 2018 in the quarterfinals of the CollegeInsider.com tournament.

UTSA sophomore guard Giovanni De Nicolao drives against Sam Houston State in the CIT quarterfinals. Photo by Joe Alexander.

An emotional UTSA coach Steve Henson addressed reporters Thursday night, explaining the difficulty of delivering a proper message to his players following their last game of the season.

“That’s always a tough conversation,” Henson said. “You know, you’re never totally prepared for it. Going into tonight’s game, (you’re) expecting to win and hoping to win and play next week, so, it was tough. A very tough locker room.”

Trailing by 12 early in the second half, Sam Houston State rallied to eliminate UTSA on its home court with a 76-69 victory in the quarterfinals of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament.

An announced crowd of 1,352 watched as the visitors from the Southland Conference hit the home team with a late 17-2 run over a five-minute span to take charge.

With the surge, Sam Houston turned a 57-50 deficit into a 67-59 lead with five minutes remaining.

The Roadrunners (20-15) of Conference USA never got closer than five the rest of the way.

Ultimately, the Bearkats (21-14) won the game at the free-throw line. They hit 27 of 34 to only 7 of 13 for the Roadrunners.

UTSA players took the loss hard.

“I want to keep this feeling, right here, for all summer, how I hurt right now, to work out all summer, to get better and to win the conference (next year),” UTSA guard Giovanni De Nicolao said.


Sam Houston State’s Josh Delaney (15) drives hard to the bucket and dishes to teammate Freddy Bitondo (0) for a layup mid-way through the second half.

Statistical leaders

Sam Houston State: John Dewey III, 18 points, including 13 in the second half. He hit 8 of 10 free throws. Cameron Delaney, 13 points, 6 rebounds. Chris Galbreath, 11 points, 12 rebounds. Josh Delaney, 11 points, 5 assists.

UTSA: Keaton Wallace, 18 points on 6 of 11 shooting, 3 of 7 from three-point distance. Giovanni De Nicolao, 17 points on 7 of 13, including 3 of 5 from three. Nick Allen, 11 points, 4 of 12. Byron Frohnen, 8 points, 4 rebounds. Deon Lyle, 5 points on 2 of 9, 1 of 7 from three.


UTSA forward Byron Frohnen runs the floor and gets the ball for an easy shot late in the first half against Sam Houston State.

First-half highlights

The UTSA Roadrunners hit eight three-pointers in the first half, breaking out to a 37-28 intermission lead.

Wallace led the long-distance barrage, nailing three shots from beyond the arc.

De Nicolao and Allen added two more apiece as the Roadrunners nailed 8 of 16 overall.

Defensively, UTSA played well, holding Sam Houston to 10 of 30 from the field and 4 of 6 free throws.


UTSA guard Giovanni De Nicolao hits a three from the corner early in the first half against Sam Houston State.

Game notes

UTSA players wanted a CIT championship, but they did bring home a 20-win season — only the seventh in the program’s 37 years.

The Roadrunners played its sixth straight game without leading scorer Jhivvan Jackson, who suffered a season-ending knee injury on Feb. 24 against Louisiana Tech. UTSA went 3-3 in his absence, including 1-1 in the C-USA tournament and 1-1 in the CIT.

Cameron Delaney, a junior guard from Harker Heights, sparked Sam Houston’s decisive 17-2 run with three-pointer, a steal and another basket.

The Bearkats played without guard Marcus Harris, who injured his foot Monday night in a 69-62 home victory over Eastern Michigan. Harris played in high school in San Antonio for the MacArthur Brahmas. He is averaging 9.7 points per game.

CIT quarterfinals

Saturday’s game
Central Michigan at Liberty

Thursday’s results
Sam Houston State beat UTSA, 76-69

Wednesday’s results
Illinois-Chicago beat Austin Peay, 83-81
Northern Colorado beat San Diego, 86-75

UTSA’s 20-win seasons
Year, record, head coach

1983-84: 20-8 (Don Eddy)
1987-88: 22-9 (Ken Burmeister)
1989-90: 22-7 (Ken Burmeister)
1990-91: 21-8 (Stu Starner)
1991-92: 21-8 (Stu Starner)
2010-11: 20-14 (Brooks Thompson)
2017-18: 20-15 (Steve Henson)

UTSA guard Keaton Wallace plays defense against Sam Houston State's Dajuan Jones at the UTSA Convocation Center on Thursday, March 22, 2018 in the quarterfinals of the CollegeInsider.com tournament.

UTSA freshman guard Keaton Wallace plays defense against Sam Houston State’s Dajuan Jones. Wallace finished with a team-high 18 points. Photo by Joe Alexander.