A two-run home run in the first inning by senior catcher Anthony Azar was all the Kats needed to beat Cal State Northridge 2-1 and claim the series with Sunday’s 1:00 p.m. contest still left to play.

The homer was Azar’s first of the season and the first for the Bearkats (12-3) at Don Sanders Stadium in 2014.

“Their pitcher did a good job keeping us off balance but I just got a hanging curveball and put a good swing on it,” Azar said. “Sam Odom did a great job and competed well, Alan Scott came in and did a little damage control and Jason Simms came in to close it out. It was a good performance by our pitching staff.”

Freshman Sam Odom tossed five innings and allowed just one unearned run. The righthander picked up his third win and lowered his ERA to 0.47 in 19 1/3 innings pitched.

Alan Scott came in from the bullpen with the bases loaded and nobody out in the sixth inning. He worked out of the jam with the lead intact after one run scored on a groundout.

The lefty reliever pitched 2 1/3 innings and was replaced by Jason Simms with one out in the eight.

Simms pitched a nearly perfect 1 2/3 innings to record his fourth save of the season. The righty finished with a pair of strikeouts.

“We got a big hit from Azar in the first and fortunately that’s all it took because we got great pitching today,” head coach David Pierce said. “I thought Sam Odom was really outstanding and Alan Scott did his thing. For him and Jason Simms to come in and pitch in the situations I put them in and manage it is big for our team.”

The Bearkats will look for their second series sweep of the season Sunday at 1 p.m.