Right fielder Romeo Cortina hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning to lead the Bearkats past McNeese State, 5-3, Friday. The homerun was the freshman’s first as a Bearkat.

The Bearkats (17-12, 5-2) took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when shortstop Carter Burgess singled up the middle to score centerfielder Colt Atwood from second base. McNeese starter Bryce Kingsley worked out of the jam and stranded two runners in the inning.

McNeese State immediately tied the game in the top of the second. Second baseman Hans Ask doubled to left center to score designated hitter Michael Sullivan. The Cowboys left two runners on in the inning.

The Cowboys took the lead in the third inning after third baseman Tyler Klouser led off with a double down the right field line and scored when shortstop Connor Lloyd singled.

Cortina’s homer allowed the Kats to retake the lead for good in the fourth inning but they added some insurance in the fifth. Burgess and third baseman Kevin Miller each singled and DH Hayden Simerly drove a double to right center to score both runners and give the Kats 5-2 lead.

Cody Dickson started for SHSU and pitched six innings, giving up four hits and striking out seven. With the win his season record moves to 5-2.

Michael Burchett pitched the final three innings in relief and didn’t allow a run. He gave up just three hits and struck out three to record his third save of the season.

Burgess, Miller, Simerly, and Cortina each had two hits in the game while second baseman Jessie Plumlee and left fielder Luke Plucheck had the other two hits.

The series continues Saturday at 4 p.m. with Andrew Godail on the mound for the Kats.