After allowing six first-inning runs and eight runs over the first two frames, the Sam Houston baseball team rallied for a 9-8 win over Lamar Thursday night in the series opener. The win improved the Bearkats to 26-12 overall and 10-6 in Southland play.

Third baseman Carter Burgess and second baseman Shea Pierce each drove in four runs apiece to lead the way for the Kats. Burgess opened the scoring in the first inning with a two-run single to right-center and drove in the winning runs with another two-RBI single in the eighth inning.

Starter Jason Simms was able to get just one out in the first inning as the Cardinals exploded for six runs. Reliever Dirk Masters also struggled and allowed two runs while only recording two outs.

Nolan Riggs kept the Bearkats in the game with 5 1/3 innings of scoreless baseball out of the bullpen. The tall righty only allowed two hits and issued three walks while striking out three batters. Riggs had the best performance of his SHSU career in a crucial spot.

Alex Bisacca tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief and got the win in the game. Ryan Brinley tossed the final 1 1/3 innings to record his second save of the season. Brinley struck out a pair of Cardinal batters and didn’t allow a hit.

The two teams will play the second game of the series Friday at 6:30 p.m. and conclude the series Sunday at 1:00 p.m.