Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A closer look at the 7-game winning streak

Things are starting to go the Bearkats way on the diamond as of late. Last night was a pretty thrilling win for the SHSU baseball team rallying for a 9-7 win over a very strong Dallas Baptist team at Don Sanders Stadium.

The win was the seventh straight for the Bearkats. Over this stretch, there have been some pretty incredible numbers put up by a few Bearkat hitters and pitchers.

Two Kats are hitting above .500 over the last seven games with Chris Andres hitting at a .531 clip and Mark Hudson checking in at .516. Greg Olson hasn’t been too bad either, producing a .462 average in his last seven games.

Hudson especially has been on a tear as of late. During the current winning streak, he leads the team in homers (4), RBIs (13), runs (10), doubles (4) and stolen bases (4).

Chris Andres has hit safely in all seven wins and currently carries an eight-game hitting streak. Braeden Riley has the longest hitting streak of the season of 11, which was snapped last night against the Patriots.

The Kats have had a few very good performances on the mound as well. Brandon Kimbrell has been very good on the hill for the Kats. The junior from Cameron has worked 7 2/3 innings over the last week and a half without allowing a run. He has given up just four hits in two appearances, picking up the win both times for the Bearkats, once in relief.

Matt Shelton has settled back in and looks more like the Shelton of 2009. His last four appearances he is sporting a 1.93 ERA and has picked up three wins for the Kats. In 9 1/3 innings of work he has allowed just two runs and fanned seven batters.

Maybe the guy who stands out the most over the last seven games is a guy who has been productive both hitting a pitching. Daniel Nottebart has nine plate appearances and has reached base five times. He has three hits, with two of those home runs, two walks and has driven in four runs. He has scored three runs as well. On the mound, Nottebart has worked 6 1/3 innings without allowing a run and has given up just two hits. In his three appearances he has a win and two saves.

As a team the Bearkats are hitting .352 and are outscoring opponents 62-43. One of the differences has been their production late in the game. Over the last seven game, the Kats are outscoring opponents 12-1 in the 8th and 9th innings. They are also taking care of business the second and third times through the batting order, outscoring opponents 22-8 in the third and fourth innings.

The Kats will be back in action on Thursday for a three-game series against Northwestern State in Natchitoches, La.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Soccer picks up home win against PVU

The women's soccer team played its only home game of the spring season this past Saturday. We defeated Prairie View A&M 2-0. Leah Snelson opened the scoring early and Kirby Zak finished it with a late header from a corner kick. The players were able to gain some valuable experience which will be helpful next season.

Before Spring Break, the team traveled over to College Station to play against the University of Utah. The team lost 1-0 to a very good Ute team. In spite of an early goal, the goalkeepers and defenders held tight and played a very good game.

The Bearkats will close out the spring season in Austin on April 11. We will travel to St. Edwards for an afternoon game.

Also, incoming freshmen Mallory Garthwaite and Natalie Johnson will lead The Woodlands today in a regional quarterfinal playoff game. Gayle Ziegler's team, Richardson Pearce, also plays today as they try to progress towards a second state championship.

-- Tom Brown
Head Women's Soccer Coach

Monday, March 29, 2010

Milestone for Mark Johnson

Sunday afternoon was a big day for head baseball coach Mark Johnson. The veteran coach notched his 1,000th career victory with a win over UTSA.

While Johnson was able to celebrate the milestone wearing Bearkat orange, a majority of the victories coming while he was in charge of the Texas A&M program.

Longtime Aggie sports information director Alan Cannon sent over a copy of the box score from Johnson's first win of his career. It came on Feb. 24, 1985 against Northeast Louisiana in a 10-1 win in the season opener for the Aggies.

"I remember that game better than I remember a game we played two weeks ago," Cannon said with a chuckle Monday afternoon.

The winning pitcher in that game was Tom Arrington, who has gone on to a great coaching career of his own. In 10 seasons as the head coach at San Jacinto College, Arrington has compiled a record of 422-146. On Monday, Arrington was unaware he was win No. 1 for Johnson.

"I should remember that game better, but I do know early in that year I was really having a good season," Arrington said. "I remember he was an assistant the year before and was a very respected man. I am happy for him and to win 1,000 games at the level he has done it is remarkable."

Arrington is not the only Aggie from the game who has gone into college coaching. Steve Johnigan, the starting catcher for the Aggies, has served as an assistant at Baylor for the last 15 years.

"Was 'Hoot' my catcher in that game?" Arrington asked referring to Johnigan. "There are so many guys who played under him who have gone into coaching and I think it was only years later that you realized how rewarding it was playing for Mark Johnson."

Another familiar name in the Aggie lineup that day was Scott Livingstone, who was a second round pick of the Detroit Tigers and had an 8-year career in the majors with Detroit, Toronto, San Diego, St. Louis and Montreal.

Here is a scan of that box score.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Women golfers continue strong play

It has been busy around here and I haven’t had a chance to write anything in a while. I have two events to catch up on, including a great effort by the ladies in Victoria.

At the Islander Classic the Corpus Christi, Kirsten Spittler finished second medalist and Shelby Hardy got her second consecutive top 10 finish of the spring season. The team finished fifth overall.

During spring break, we played in a strong 16-team field in Victoria where the Bearkats received a third place trophy. Landa Stewart finished tied for fifth individually. The team finish was quite an accomplishment because we were playing without one player who got sick after the first round. Following the first 18 holes we were in fifth place, and moved up two spots over the remainder of the tournament playing one player short. Great job ladies!

--Tommy Chain
Women’s golf coach

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Former Bearkat to be featured on documentary

Former Sam Houston State baseball player Dustin Martin is still trying realize his dream of one day making it to the "Show." Martin is currently in the Minnesota Twins organization and spent last season with AAA Rochester Red Wings.

Beginning in May a 13-part documentary titled "Minor League" will air on PBS, which takes an in-depth look at the life of a minor league baseball player. Camera crews followed the Red Wings during the 2009 season.

The show takes a look at the physical and mental challenges players/coaches deal with on a daily basis, promotions to the Major Leagues, life outside the ballpark, and much more.

"What I like most is that you won't necessarily have to be a baseball fan to enjoy the show because it will feature the everyday rollercoaster of emotions that our players endure during the season. We have some outstanding young men that will be playing here this season and this will give fans from all over a chance to develop a better rapport with them and follow them throughout their careers," said Red Wings general manager Dan Mason on the Red Wings official web site.

"Minor League" will be made available to approximately 385 public television affiliates across the United States. Several of these affiliates are considered "border stations" that will reach into every major market in Canada as well.

According to Twins beat writer La Velle E. Neal III from the Star Tribune, Martin is one of the players who get "plenty of camera time."

The box set will be available starting June 1. The cost: $29.99 - which includes all 13 (30-minute) episodes and several hours of bonus footage, not seen in the series. If you would like to purchase a copy of the series you can e-mail the producer directly by clicking here
Last season Martin hit .254 for the Red Wings. He was fourth on the team in hits (107), fourth in RBIs (53), third in runs (58) and lead the team in steals (26). 
If the show is going to air in Texas, we will post the schedule. If you want to read more about it, check out the official "Minor League" page.

Several activities tonight at baseball and softball

There are several good reasons to head out to baseball and softball this afternoon to see the Bearkats play. The softball team is in action against Baylor in a double header that starts at 4 p.m. The baseball team is taking on Houston Baptist at 6:30 p.m.

Tonight is 25 cent hot dog night, the first of two that will be held this spring. Also, it is military appreciation night at baseball.

At 4:30 p.m. ROTC will be firing up the grill for complimentary burgers over at the intramural fields. Outside of the stadium there will be a rock wall for kids/students to take a try at climbing. Pre-game ROTC will be presenting the flags, as well as honoring local veterans and a highly noted one, Colonel Etheridge.

During the game, we will replace Bearkat/Baseball Trivia with Military Trivia and will have the ROTC cadets help as much as possible.

At some point there will be a fly-over in the distance as the helicopters from the intramural fields will be departing.

So head out to both stadiums and be part of this exciting night.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Got a great email during the Baylor game

Just wanted to pass this e-mail along that came in during the Baylor game. Usually don't put stuff up like this, but this letter was too good to keep to myself.

Just watching the Baylor tourney game and it just went to halftime....this is probably ridiculous but I just wanted to say that on two consecutive fouls by Baylor on Clavell...on both occasions he went to the Baylor player on the floor to help him up and then headed to the freethrow line....I thought that shows a lot of class on his part and is a credit to him and your coaching staff...for what it's this "look at me" era of sports that kind of gesture often goes unnoticed...I thought it was classy and deserves some praise. Best of luck.
The funny thing is, when both of those plays happened, I had the same thought. A lot of time our athletes don't get enough recognition for when they do the right thing, and I just wanted to share this e-mail to everyone else.

-- Jason Barfield

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Bearkats make cover of SI

Just getting settled in after a few days in New Orleans. Trying to catch up on some of the things that happened while we were gone.

The annual Sports Illustrated NCAA Tournament Preview collage cover was released and the Bearkats were featured twice. The collage always included a player or mascot from all the teams participating the in the Big Dance. For SHSU, it was both.

Sammy, easily one of the most colorful mascots in college athletics, makes the cover. Also, Corey Allmond is featured on the cover. The picture of Allmond is from the Kentucky game when he hit a Rupp Arena record 11 3-pointers. This particular shot is of him "quieting" the home crowd.

This is the second time the Kats have made the cover of Sports Illustrated. The first was in 2003, the first time they made the NCAA Tournament. Anyone remember who made the cover then?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Postgame press conference

Don't know if this got posted anywhere or not, but just in case you want to watch, here is the link to the press conference after the Bearkats lost to Baylor in the first round of the NCAA Tourament in New Orleans.

Postgame Press Conference

Monday, March 15, 2010

Germany trip comes to an end

I have arrived back in the USA after a great adventure in Germany. The last three days were exciting. On Thursday, we heard about the German coaching license program and how they structure their courses. From there we had some time to explore Cologne and catch our breath before two more long days of travel. I went back to visit the cathedral that I mentioned in an earlier posting. A couple of coaches and I climbed the 516 step, winding staircase in the cathedral. It was very tiring but the view was spectacular! We recovered by doing some shopping for our families!

On Friday, we traveled down to Frankfurt and visited the headquarters of the German Soccer Association. We had a couple of lectures and then got to see the trophy room. Germany's 1974 and 1990 World Cup trophies were on display as well as the 2007 Women's World Cup trophy. We traveled back to the hotel and then were quickly on the road again to watch the game between Schalke 04 and Stuttgart. Over 62,000 fans dressed in blue watched the home team win 2-1. It was an amazing game and the fans celebrations will be etched in my mind.

Saturday found us traveling to Monchengladbach to visit their women's academy and watch their women's first team train. From there we went and watched their men's team, which features American Michael Bradley, play against Wolfsburg. It was not a good day for the home team, as they lost 4-0. That night we had a celebration dinner with some traditional German food. It was then up early for a LONG flight back to Houston.

This was a tremendous opportunity to learn from some of the best coaches in the world. Experiencing the passion of the German soccer fans will be something that I will not quickly forget. I appreciate Sam Houston State allowing me to go on this professional development course and I hope I will be able to bring back some new ideas that will help us reach our goals for next season!

Go Bearkats!

-- Tom Brown
Head Women's Soccer Coach

Friday, March 12, 2010

A look back to seven years ago

Saturday, the Bearkats will take on Stephen F. Austin in the Southland Conference Championship game at the Merrell Center in Katy. Seven years ago the Kats and Jacks hooked up in the Southland Finals with SHSU notching an overtime victory to advance to the NCAA Tournament.

Here is the game story that ran in the Huntsville Item the day after:

Kats March On

originally published March 15, 2003
By Jason Barfield
The Huntsville Item

If there was any doubt what month it is, the Bearkats and Lumberjacks quickly reminded more than 5,000 fans at Johnson Coliseum the meaning of March Madness.

Donald Cole hit a 3-pointer with 13 seconds left in overtime to lift Sam Houston State to 69-66 victory over Stephen F. Austin on Friday afternoon, earning the Kats their first-ever bid to the NCAA Tournament.

The shot put the Kats up by two. Cole hit one more free throw with two seconds left to give them a three-point victory.

"We wanted to spread it out, and I didn't think they were going to leave me open and they did," said Cole who was named tournament MVP. "(Robert Shannon) hit me in the corner and I looked up and the point guard, who is a lot shorter than me was in front, so I just decided to take the shot and it went in."

Cole's shot was necessary because just 20 second earlier, Antonio Burks hit a jumper to give SFA its first lead of the overtime period.

The Kats brought the ball down the floor and called a timeout with 32 seconds left to set up their offense. SHSU head coach Bob Marlin said he actually called three plays depending on what the Lumberjacks defense did.

"We had seen them run some 1-3-1 (zone defenses) against Arlington and we walked through it this morning in case we saw it," Marlin said about the final play of the game.

"We were going to try and run it to Jason (Stephenson) and use him as a decoy thinking they were going to go with him. He cut and (Marcus) Clark stayed so we knew it was going to be the zone so we went straight to domino."

Domino is the name of the play the Bearkats were running when Cole hit his game-winner.

SFA coach Danny Kaspar said he wasn't looking for an outside shot. That's why the Jacks went to the zone.

"We expected them to drive to the basket and try to draw the foul," Kaspar said. "Se we went to the 1-3-1 zone to defend it. You know Cole taking a 3 is not a bad shot to give."

Marlin said Cole was the man he wanted to have take the shot with the game on the line.

"There is not another guy on the team shooting we want taking that last shot then Donald Cole," Marlin said. "He is probably our best 3-point shooter, even though he is a post player. Big players make big plays and that is what he did, and that is why he is the player of the year."

Cole, who was named Southland Conference Player of the Year, finished with a game-high 26 points. He also grabbed 11 rebounds. He came up big every time the Kats needed it.

With 1:34 left in regulation, the senior from Port Arthur scored to put the Kats up by three. He also scored the first basket of the overtime period.

"I told myself that if the opportunity presented itself I was going to come through for the team," Cole said.

The Kats seemed to be in control early in the second half. Jay Oliphant made a shot inside the paint and was fouled on the play. He hit the free throw to put the Kats up 51-37 with 11:51 to play.

However the Lumberjacks responded like the second-place team in conference. Over the next 6:21, SFA went on a 17-1 run to take a 54-52 lead, their first since an 18-17 advantage with 6:30 left in the first half.

"We told our guys they were going to make a run because they are a very efficient team," Marlin said. "They are one of the top shooting teams in the country. Their guys stepped up and hit some big shots, and they got the lead and took the momentum."

Stephenson hit a free throw and Felton Freeman made a jumper to give the lead back to the Kats at 55-54. With less than four minutes to play and clinging to a one-point lead, Eddy Fobbs, who was pivotal in the semifinal win against McNeese State, jumped and got just enough of a finger on Burks' shot to knock it off course.

"I just did my best to jump as high as I could to get to the shot," Fobbs said. "I didn't know if I was going to hit it or not, but I just took a chance."

Fobbs then came down on the other end of the floor, drew a foul and hit both free throws to put the Kats up 57-54.

Taylor Moore, who was averaging just four points a game, had a career day. The sophomore scored a career-high 19 points, including a jumper with less than three minutes left to cut the SHSU lead to just one.

After Cole's shot put the Kats up by three, Burks evened the score at 59 with just 34 seconds left in regulation. SHSU had one last shot to win the game but Stephenson couldn't get off an attempt in the final seconds.

One of the main keys to the victory was the Bearkats rebounding. They grabbed 23 offensive boards and got 28 second-chance points. Overall they outrebounded the Lumberjacks 45-33.

"We talked about rebounding the ball and we have some good athletes that can go get it," Marlin said. "We have been beaten on the glass some this year but we got 23 offensive rebounds because we missed a lot of shots. However, second-chance opportunities are what it is all about."

The Bearkats now will wait for their next opponent. The NCAA's field of 65 will be announced Sunday at 6 p.m. on ESPN.

"It doesn't matter where or who we play, Marlin said. "We feel like we are good enough to beat some teams. But if you set a 16 (seed) (beating a No. 1 seed) has never been done. We won't go out and lay down next week, I can tell you that."

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Visits to two pro workouts went great

The last two days have been a great adventure here in Germany. On Tuesday, we started our day at FC Cologne and watched the pro team train in the morning. We got to meet with an assistant coach after training, who explained their weekly schedule and gave us some insights into the team. From there we traveled to the sport university and met with the director of fitness for the German Boys National Team Program. He told us about the fitness training initiatives they are doing in their national team program. The day ended by watching a great Bayern Munich vs. Fiorintina Champions League game. The twists and turns in the game were exciting!

I do have to congratulate Arsenal, who is supported by our AD Bobby Williams, on their win. Great win BUT not important enough to watch!

Today was an amazing day. We traveled up to Bayer Leverkusen and watched their pro team train. The team contains many international players, including the current German national team goalkeeper. We had lunch in the hotel at the stadium and then got to tour the stadium. The stadium is huge and we got the "inside" tour. We also had a special treat and got to meet Rudi Voller. He is the current general manager for Bayer Leverkusen, but was a German National Team star in the 80's and early 90's. I got to take a picture with him and get an autograph card signed! We went to visit the youth academy and spoke with the director. We are back at the hotel and I am eagerly awaiting the Manchester United game tonight.

I will send one more update before leaving. We have three more great days, two more live games, and share one great passion - SOCCER!

Go BearKats!

-- Tom Brown
Head soccer coach

Down in Katy

Well it was a tough loss for the women's team here in Katy. They played a fantastic first half, but in the end, just didn't have enough to overcome Texas A&M Corpus Christi. It was another step in the right direction for the women's basketball program and hopefully something they can build on for next year.

The men will be in action tonight, and we are hoping to see as much orange here in Katy as we can. The game tips at 6 p.m. so for the first time, we are playing in the evening session here in the first round. Students can get in free by showing their ID. If you can't make it out to the Merrell Center, it will be available online at

After the game we will have highlights and the press conference posted on the official site.

Here are the highlights from yesterday's women's game.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Trip to Germany off to great start

I have traveled to Cologne, Germany for an International Diploma course that is being held in conjunction with the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and the German Soccer Federation. The course opened on Saturday with us viewing a game between Bayern Munich and FC Cologne. The game ended in a 1-1 tie. The local boy, Lukas Podolski, who had played at Bayern Munich but moved back home to play for FC Cologne scored the opening goal. In the second half, Byern Munich inserted the French international Frank Ribery and he helped produce the equalizer. It was a great game and great way to get the course going.

We woke up on Saturday morning with snow on the ground and the temperature never got above freezing. Before leaving for the game, I visited a cathedral that was started to be built in the 1200's and survived World War II. It was truly amazing and I felt very small inside this very large cathedral.

Today we watched FC Cologne's under-17 team win their game 2-0 and then had lunch at the teams training facility. We have spent most of our classroom time talking about match analysis based on the games we have observed. We will return to FC Cologne over the next two days to see the professionals and academy teams train and meet with their coaches concerning how they do match analysis.

I will update you again in a few days.

Go Bearkats!

-- Tom Brown
Head soccer coach

Walk off wins for Bearkat baseball

It was an exciting Sunday at Don Sanders Stadium with the Kats winning a pair of games in dramatic fashion. In the opener of the day Ryan Mooney hit a solo homer in the 8th inning to give the Bearkats a 3-2 lead. Northern Colorado followed with a homer in the ninth to force extra innings. In the bottom of the 15th, Doug Oney gave the Kats the win with a solo shot that just cleared the left field fence.

In the second game of the day, the Kats had to rally in the ninth to pick up the victory. Greg Olson finished off the dramatics with a two-run single to give SHSU an 11-10 victory.

If you missed either of the two finishes, you can see both of them along with Mooney's homer here:

Monday, March 1, 2010

Schedule changes for the week

We have made a few changes to the baseball and softball schedules with rain in the area this week.

The Bearkat baseball game scheduled for Tuesday in Houston has now been moved to Don Sanders Stadium. The game will start at 6:30 p.m. and will be available to watch on Bearkat Vision. The Bearkats will now play on April 7 at Texas Southern.

The softball team was scheduled to play their Southland Conference opening series on Tuesday at Stephen F. Austin. Because of unplayable field conditions in Nacogdoches, the series will now be played at The Bearkat Softball Complex. The two teams will play a double header Tuesday beginning at 1 p.m. and the series finale on Wednesday at 2 p.m.

This makes for a busy week around the athletic department as there will now be 11 games here on campus over the next six days between baseball, softball and women's basketball. Also on Saturday, Bowers Stadium will host a high school track meet with 50 schools scheduled to compete.

Wiginton: Team ready for SLC play

Hey there Bearkat fans! It has been a long hard schedule for us so far in our season. Looking just at the scores of the games we have played gives no justice to how we have been playing at all. We have played some tough teams so far including, Ohio State, Arkansas, University of Houston and Texas A&M. In each game we put up a fair fight, hitting is very strong for our team this year.

In both the U of H tournament and the UNT tournament we had our ups and downs. But these tournaments have been used for us to get used to playing with each other, as we have a new line-up this year. Also they have been used for our pitching to get a few games in and get fired up for the season ahead.

The game against A&M went very well we fought till the end in that game, which ended with a 2-1 A&M win. We then followed up the next week with 2 victories over Texas Southern winning 15-0 and 8-0.

Seems to me, this schedule has prepared us very well for the conference road that starts with SFA on Tuesday. Our pitching, along with our hitting, has gotten the chance to work together and work through some kinks. Everything is ready to fall into place just in time to start the conference fight.

The team is very excited to get after it and we are looking forward to working hard and following Bearkat men’s basketball’s lead and joining them as Southland Conference Champions. Both the SFA and Texas State games are away this week, the next home game is on Wednesday, March 10 where we will host Monmouth at the softball complex. So come out and support your Bearkats as our conference games takeoff.


-- Hailey Wiginton No. 2