The Houston Cougars scored three runs in the top of the ninth to top Sam Houston 6-3 in the Kats home opener at Don Sanders Stadium Tuesday night.

The Kats issued four walks and a hit-by-pitch as part of a three-run ninth inning for the Cougars. Caleb Barker hit a single off of Michael Burchett, who then walked two to load the bases. David Rumsey replaced Burchett and walked Kyle Survance and hit Chris Waylock.

"Today we had eight free passes, five base on balls and three hit batters, and four errors. When you calculate eight free passes and four errors, that's 12 guys who didn't earn it," Sam Houston baseball coach David Pierce said. "You can't afford to do that against anybody."

The Kats scored in the first inning after
Colt Atwood reached on an error by the third baseman to lead off the game. The Cougars answered with a run of their own in the top of the second.

Hayden Simerly led off the second inning with first-pitch homerun to right field to make the score 2-1.

Houston tied the game 2-2 in the top of the fourth and the Kats immediately retook the lead. Ryan Farney, who went three-for-four in the game, singled and scored in the fourth inning to make the Kat lead 3-2.

The Kats gave up the lead in the seventh after a leadoff error came around to score.

Sam Houston threw seven pitchers in the game. Tyler Eppler started and pitched 2.1 innings allowing just one run but had an elevated pitch count.

The Kats final four pitchers Logan Boyd, Jordan Church, Michael Burchett, and David Rumsey pitched just two-thirds of an inning apiece.

The Bearkats dropped to 1-3 for the season with the loss.

"We've got some very talented players, some very good kids," Pierce said. "The thing is that they're going to come out of it, but they're going to have to work to come out of it."

Sam Houston kicks off a three-game series against Louisiana-Monroe Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Don Sanders Stadium.