But after battling back from 4-1 down to tie the contest in the eighth inning, Sam Houston (12-14, 6-4 Southland) could not get another run.
Northwestern State (17-7, 5-4 Southland) picked up the victory in 13 innings as Stephen Gandy blasted a walk off home home to left field.
Left fielder Tyler Fiebrich put the Kats in position to pull off another late rally with a three-run homer in the top of the eighth inning to tie the game 4-4. Fiebrich's pinch hit home run was only his second hit in 19 at bats this season.
The runs were the first for SHSU since the opening inning when designated hitter Chris Andreas singled to score second baseman Braeden Riley who had walked.
Northwestern State (16-7, 4-4 Southland) scored three runs on two hits and two Bearkat errors in the third inning and added another tally in the fourth to go up 4-1. Kat starter Justin Jackson went seven innings. He gave up six hits and struck out four batters.
Matt Shelton, Brent Powers and Dallas Gallant all threw in relief, holding the Demons scoreless for seven innings before the blow in the bottom of the 13th inning. Gallant (0-5) took the loss.
Six Demons worked on the mound. Starter Luke Irvine limited the Kats to five hits in the first six innings and struck out 10 batters. Reliever Trevor Geist (1-0) earned the win.
The Demons ended a four-game losing streak and are 12-3 at home this season in Natchitoches.
The two teams will meet in the second game of the series Friday at 6:30 p.m. The three-game series ends Saturday afternoon.
Next home action at Don Sanders Stadium for the Bearkats will be a Southland Conference series with McNeese State beginning Friday night, March 9.
Tickets for Sam Houston State baseball home games are on sale online at www.gobearkats.com. All Sam Houston students, faculty and staff receive free admission with their SHSU BearkatOne I.D. cards. For $2, students and faculty/staff can upgrade their seats with reserved chairback seat. Offer is available at the ticket booth the day of the game.
Bearkat fans will have the opportunity to purchase reserved section chairback tickets for only $2 during the special online only "Opening Day Sale" Monday April 5 through April 7.
For more information on the "Opening Day Sale" or other exciting offers like the "Friday Family Pack Tickets" or "Super Tuesday" Mini-Pack Tickets, go to the "Opening Day Sale" link or contact the Sam Houston State ticket office located in the Ron Mafrige Field House at Bowers Stadium. The ticket office telephone number is (936) 294-1729.