Simerly, who started in left field, got the Bearkats (5-5) on the board early with a two-out, two-run single in the first inning.
The Bearkats were right back at it in the second inning. Designated hitter Shea Pierce led off with a double to deep right and moved to third on a Carter Burgess fly out. Colt Atwood then singled to score Pierce. Anthony Azar singled to drive in his first run in six games.
"After Friday night's loss everyone was a little frustrated," head coach David Pierce said. "It was a test tonight and our guys really came out hungry."
Cody Dickson pitched 6 2/3 allowing just one run in the game on three hits. Dickson struck out six but also issued six walks.
Michael Burchett pitched the final 2 1/3 innings in relief. Burchett struck out two and allowed only one hit. Jordan Church gave way to Burchett after he relieved Dickson but was unable to record an out.
The Bearkats effectively put the game out of reach in the sixth inning. The Kats loaded the bases with one out before Azar was hit by a pitch to drive in a run. Hayden Simerly hit an RBI groundout to score Ryan Farney. Ryan O'Hearn scored on a wild pitch to make the score 7-0.
Arkansas State got on the board in the seventh after Dickson issued a pair of two-out walks. Church allowed two more walks to get the run in.
The rubber game of the three-game series is Sunday at 1 p.m. at Don Sanders Stadium.