Day 2 of the Houston Regional saw Sam Houston State meet Xavier in the first elimination game and Rice take on Kansas State in the night cap. Here is your day 2 recap for the Houston Regional.
(3) Xavier 9, (4) Sam Houston State 6
HOUSTON – The third-seeded Xavier baseball team captured the program’s first NCAA Tournament win Saturday afternoon, eliminating No. 4 Sam Houston State, 9-6, at Reckling Park in the Houston Regional hosted by Rice University. Junior Neil Lindgren’s two-run homer in the seventh scored the winning run for XU and senior shortstop Jordan Conley closed out the game on the mound for the Musketeers.
Lindgren went 3-for-4 on the day with two runs and two RBI while Conley also had a good day at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI. Three other Musketeers had multi-hit days as well and junior Bobby Freking recorded his second home run of the regional in the second inning.
Sam Houston (36-24) was able to take an early two-run lead after a throwing error put a man on second who stole third and was knocked in on a single by Jon Reed. Nick Zaleski made it around to home on a single down the right line, giving the Bearkats the 2-0 advantage after the first half inning.
Xavier (39-20) tied up the game in the bottom second as Conley got on base with his single to right center and Freking launched his fourth long ball of the season, a two-run shot over the left field fence. After two complete, the two squads were knotted at two apiece.
(2) Kansas State 7, (1) Rice 6
HOUSTON, Texas – K-State’s A.J. Morris struck out Michael Fuda with the winning run at second base as the 14th-ranked Wildcats withstood a ninth-inning rally from sixth-ranked Rice for a 7-6 win Saturday night at Reckling Park.
With the win, Kansas State (43-16-1) advances to the Houston Regional final on 6 p.m. Sunday and will face the winner of the 2 p.m. Rice/Xavier contest. K-State needs just one more win to claim the Houston Regional title, while the Rice/Xavier winner will need to knock off the Wildcats twice to advance.
Morris (14-1) tossed his fifth complete game of the season against the Owls as the junior had one of his gutsiest performances of the season. The Humble, Texas, native scattered 13 hits and surrendered six runs, four of which were earned with two walks. His two strikeouts on the night proved to be pivotal as both were recorded in the bottom of the ninth inning. Morris’ 14 wins this season move him into a tie for third place in Big 12 history for a single season.
K-State, which took its first lead of the game in the eighth inning at 4-3 with a Justin Bloxom solo homer, plated three key insurance runs in the top of the ninth inning when Nick Martini, with the bases loaded and two outs, sliced a 3-2 pitch down the left field line to score all three runs to give the Wildcats a 7-3 cushion.
Game 5: Rice v. Xavier (2 p.m. CT)
Game 6: Kansas State v. Winner Game 5 (6 p.m. CT)