Sam Houston State used a six-run fifth inning and scored the final 11 runs of the game en route to a 14-3 win over Lamar at Vincent-Beck Stadium Friday night.
Both teams scored two runs in the first inning before the Bearkats took a 3-2 lead in the second on a home run to centerfield by Nick Zaleski. Lamar answered with a run in the third when Brian Taylor led off the inning with a double, moved to third on a ground out and scored on a Chris Dunkin single.
After a pair of scoreless frames, Sam Houston (19-13, 7-6 Southland) scored six runs on five hits to break the game open. Todd Sebek led off with a homer to center before Keith Stein was hit and Ryan Trevino walked. Both runners scored on softly-hit balls into shallow left field. A Jaime Rohlmeier single drove in Seth Hammock, and after Ricky Testa replaced starter Brian Sisk on the mound, Ryan Weber hit a two-run double to right-center that made it 9-3 Bearkats.
Bobby Verbick hit his team-leading ninth home run down the left field line in the sixth before Sam Houston got a pair of RBI singles in the seventh, along with another in the eighth and a sacrifice fly to close out the scoring.
For Lamar (20-12, 10-3), Taylor had his second-consecutive three-hit game and scored two of the Cardinals' runs. Dunkin went 2-for-4 and drove in all three LU runs. Steven Tucker and Travis Dunson each had a hit.
Sisk (6-2) suffered his first loss in four weeks after allowing nine runs on 11 hits in 4.2 innings. Testa completed the game with 3.1 innings of relief as he allowed five runs on nine hits.
Dallas Gallant (3-2) went all eight innings for Sam Houston as he struck out eight and scattered seven hits.
Zaleski was 4-for-5 with three runs and three RBI for SHSU. Trevino and Rohlmeier added three hits and two runs each.
The teams will be back in action on Saturday for game two of the series at 2 p.m. Matt Morgal (3-1, 5.94 ERA) will get the start for Lamar and Guillaume Duguay (1-0, 3.86 ERA) is scheduled to go for Sam Houston State.