In his first year taking over the Sam Houston State baseball program after the retirement of legendary head coach Mark Johnson, former Rice assistant David Pierce led the Bearkats to their first regular season Southland Conference title since 1989, on his way to being named the Southland Conference Coach of the Year.
Sam Houston wasn't picked to be one of the top three teams in the league before the season started, much less winning it with a brand new head coach and a host of freshman making key contributions.
But that didn't stop the Bearkats from rolling. They went on a 13-game winning streak at one point in the season and also won 10 of its 11 weekend series in conference action.
The Bearkats reached as high as No. 20 in the national polls with their best wins coming over Rice, San Diego, Houston and Dallas Baptist, as well as a three-game sweep of then nationally-ranked Texas State.
Sam Houston enters the Southland Conference tournament as the top seed and the leadership of Pierce has so much to do with it.
Read more about the Bearkats at SB Nation Houston.