Catcher Anthony Azar blasted a two-run homer in the fifth inning to break a deadlock and lead the Bearkats over McNeese State 5-2. Sam Houston (18-12, 6-2) has already won the series over the Cowboys with the final game to be played Sunday at 1 p.m.
For the second consecutive game, a big Bearkat homerun was the deciding factor.
Second baseman Jessie Plumlee was hit by a pitch to lead off the fifth before Azar launched the homerun to left-center field. The Kats added another run in the inning after an RBI groundout by first baseman Ryan O’Hearn.
Both teams had plenty of opportunities to score early in the game but only managed a run each in the first inning. The two teams left a combined 20 runners on base.
Bearkat starter Andrew Godail pitched just 3 1/3 innings but only allowed one run on five hits and three walks. Godail left the game with the bases loaded and just one out in the fourth. Lefthander Alan Scott came out of the bullpen and got a double-play ball to end the inning.
Juan Cortina pitched two innings of scoreless relief and got the win. He gave up just one hit and one walk.
Reliever Jason Simms pitched the final three innings of the game and recorded his fourth save of the year. He allowed one run on three hits and struck out three batters.
Third baseman Kevin Miller was 4-for-4 with a run scored and a run driven in. Center fielder Colt Atwood was 3-for-5. Azar was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI.
The Bearkats will go for their first series sweep of the season Sunday at 1 p.m.