HUNTSVILLE – Seth Ballew tossed six strong innings and the Sam Houston State Bearkat offense did enough to make it stand up in a 5-2 win over Stephen F. Austin on Saturday afternoon at Don Sanders Stadium.

The Kats (25-10, 13-1 SLC) maintained their hold on the top spot in the Southland Conference standings with the win, securing their fifth straight series win to kick off conference play, and did so by scoring a pair of runs in both the fourth and fifth innings while the pitching staff held the Lumberjacks (12-22, 4-10 SLC) to just three hits on the day.

Hunter Hearn had three hits on the day and Jaxxon Grisham reached four times in five plate appearances for the Bearkats. Meanwhile, Ballew answered the bell for the second straight week, allowing just one run in his 6.0 innings of work on a blustery day at The Don to run his season record to 3-1.

With the Kats leading 5-1 in the seventh, the ‘Jacks had something going with one down and a pair of runners on; however, Sam Houston turned to Dakota Mills who got out of the jam and proceeded to pitch the final 2.2 innings in just 29 pitches with three strikeouts to earn his league-leading eighth save of the year.

For SFA, freshman Sean Beasley took the loss, allowing four runs in 4.1 innings despite striking out a season-high four hitters. Reliever Cody Adams also pitched well, giving up just a run on three hits in 3.2 frames of relief.