NATCHITOCHES, LA -- Designated hitter Karl Krailo went 3-for-5 with two runs batted in and catcher Heath Pugh was 2-for-4 with 3 RBIs to lead Sam Houston State to an 11-1 victory over Northwestern State in the first contest in a three-game Southland Conference weekend series at Demon Field Friday night.
Sam Houston State (28-19, SLC 12-10) totaled 13 hits in the contest as the Bearkats ended a four-game losing streak. Jacob Howard (9-4) was the winning pitcher, spreading eight hits over six and two thirds innings while striking out three and walking two. Tim Gray and Adam Albright pitched in relief.
The victory was an important one for the Bearkats who are seeking to get back into the top six in the Southland Conference standings and earn their first league post-season tournament trip since the 2000 season.
Northwestern State (21-24, SLC 11-10) picked up its only run on a Casey DeRosa single in the bottom of the seventh inning with the Demons trailing 5-0. Pugh started a three-run third inning with an RBI single. Bobby Verbick brought in another run with a sacrific fly. Clint Mann scored the third run of the inning on an error.
Pugh picked up his second RBI on a ground out in the fourth inning, scoring Austin Boggs who singled. Krailo added a run in the fifth inning with an RBI single. The Bearkats posted six runs in the eighth inning to end the game one inning early with the 10-run rule.
Sam Houston State and Northwestern State meet in the second game of the series Saturday at 2 p.m.
Following the Northwestern State series, SHSU will host Southeastern
Louisiana at Don Sanders Staduim then end the regular season at Nacogdoches against Stephen F. Austin.