Colt Atwood hit a two-RBI single in the seventh inning in support of freshman Dylan Ebbs as the Bearkats rallied to beat McNeese State 3-1 Wednesday at Don Sanders Stadium. Ebbs, making his first career start, allowed just one run on four hits in seven innings.

The freshman from Santa Fe, Texas, allowed just two base runners after the first inning. The Cowboys led off the game with a pair of singles and opened the scoring with a sacrifice fly to right field.

McNeese didn’t have a single base runner from the third through sixth innings. Ebbs finished with five strikeouts and no free passes.

“I had to get some first-inning jitters out of the way in my first start but after that I just pounded the zone and tried to throw as many strikes as I could,” Ebbs said. “I just competed and threw every pitch for a strike and when you do that and have a good defense behind you you’re going to win a lot of ballgames.”

The game-winning runs came across when designated hitter Ryan Farney and second baseman Shea Pierce each singled to lead off the seventh. Left fielder Luke Plucheck sacrificed the runners over before Atwood delivered the two-run single up the middle.

Catcher Anthony Azar added an insurance run when he led off the eighth with a towering home run to left. Azar’s homer was his second in as many days after the senior backstop went yard against Texas A&M Tuesday.

Logan Boyd tossed a scoreless eighth inning in relief. He allowed a single and hit a batter but stranded both.

Ryan Brinley registered his first career save with a scoreless ninth inning. Brinley struck out two and gave up one hit.

The SHSU defense didn’t commit an error in the game for just the second time this season.

“Dylan Ebbs was outstanding tonight. He can really pitch. He doesn’t have a lot of velocity but he can really use his three pitches and that’s why he’s successful,” head coach David Pierce said. “If you get down to it, pitching and defense is what wins games and that’s what we did tonight.”

Sam Houston State will host Northwestern State for a three-game weekend series starting Friday at 6:30 p.m. at the Don.