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Demons drop first game to Bearkats, 5--4
Apr 07, 2012 | 438 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
HUNTSVILLE, Texas – Northwestern State's aggressiveness on the base paths proved costly at the end of the game when Jordan Buckley's attempt to take third base on a wild pitch with two out in the top of the ninth was cut short and the 24th-ranked Sam Houston State hung on for a 5-4 win over the Demons in the first game between the Southland Conference's top two baseball teams Thursday night.

 The Demons (12-15, 9-4) stole six bases in the game, including two by Buckley and Drew Helenihi but the lucky seventh wasn't meant to be as the Bearkats (21-9, 11-2) won for the 10th consecutive time while opening up a two-game lead in the standings over NSU.

 The two teams will continue the series at 6:30 on Friday before wrapping things up at 1 on Saturday.

 Sam Houston State, who entered the game as the league leader and ranked 11th in the nation in hitting, was held to six base knocks in the game with four of those coming in a five-run second inning.

 NSU finished the contest with seven hits as Helenihi led the way with a 2-for-4 showing and a run scored.

 Demon starting pitcher Colin Bear (3-3) took the loss after he allowed all five runs on five hits through six innings.  He walked three and struckout two but after surrendering all five runs in the second, he faced the minimum over the next four innings and gave up just one hit, but that was nipped by a double play ball to end the sixth.

 Joe Scanio threw the final two innings with a strikeout and a hit.

 Bearkat reliever Brandon Bergen (1-1) got the win after he threw 4.2 innings and gave up two runs on three hits with two strikeouts.  Starter Cody Dickson was pulled with one out in the fourth inning and gave up two runs on three hits with three walks and four Ks.  Michael Burchett recorded his third save of the season with a scoreless ninth inning.

 The Demons took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Helenihi led off the game with a single to left field.  He then stole second and after the next two batters went down in order, Nick Hinojos and Will Watson were hit by pitches to load the bases.  The trio completed a triple steal as Helenihi took off for home on the windup and slid in safely to give NSU a 1-0 lead.

 That held briefly until the second when Ryan O'Hearn started things off for SHSU with by drawing a base on balls and moved to second after a Kevin Miller single to right field.  Jake Arrington tied things up when his grounder to second was booted by Ray Frias and John Hale's sacrifice fly scored Miller to put the Bearkats up 2-1.

 A stolen base by Arrington followed and Jessie Plumlee singled to move Arrington to third.  Corey Toups lined out to Mitch Huckabay at shortstop but Colt Atwood singled up the middle to score Arrington and make it 3-1.  Luke Plucheck drew the team's second walk of the inning and Anthony Azar's two-run single to left field opened up a 5-1 lead for the Bearkats.

 The Demons got a run back in the third inning after Buckley drew a lead off walk, stole second, went to third on a fielder's choice by Will Watson and scored when Ryan Westbrook singled down the right field line.

 After going down in order the fifth and sixth innings, NSU got three hits in the seventh, including back-to-back doubles by Hinojos and Watson, to close the gap to 5-4.

 NSU had three outfield flyouts in the eighth and had a chance to tie or take the lead in the ninth after Helenihi led things off with a single but would get thrown out at second on a grounder by Buckley, who later stole second.  Nick Purdy walked and Hinojos hit a pop up to center field for out number two.  That set up the final out when Buckley was thrown out at third after he attempted to take the bag on a wild pitch that was kept in front of the catcher.


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