A complete-game, shutout from Northwestern State starting pitcher Cody Butler held Stephen F. Austin lineup quiet as the Demons went on to win 6-0 in Southland Conference baseball action.
Butler (4-4) surrendered only four hits and four walks while he struck out seven Lumberjacks (23-23, 10-9 SLC). The right-hander pitched five innings that were perfect.
"Bobby was outstanding. He didn't have his best tonight, but he competed his tail off," said head coach Lane Burroughs.
The Demons (14-33, 3-16 SLC) opened up their scoring in the third inning on a fielding error by SFA shortstop Hunter Dozier from Matt Burns that allowed Garrett Killgore and Cort Brinson to score.
In the fourth inning, Killgore extended his multi-RBI game streak to three when he plated Todd Wallace and Nathan Lyons on a double to center field. Wallace was walked to lead off the inning, and Lyons was given a free pass two batters later.
Edwin Gomez pushed the lead to five when he scored on a sacrifice fly to left field from Nick Purdy in the fifth inning. The final run was scored in the seventh inning on a passed ball to score Gomez, who reached on a leadoff walk.
"We had some big at-bats with runners on," said Burroughs. "Burns put a ball in play in the second inning that scored two runs, and Killgore had a big two-run double."
Northwestern State put the leadoff man on base in five innings, and had a base runner in all innings except for the third and eighth.
Gomez was two-of-four with two runs scored, and Killgore was one-for-three with two RBI. Watson, Wallace, Brinson (double), and Lyons each had a hit.
Chase Greening (4-3) started for the ‘Jacks and took the loss on five runs (three earned) in five innings. Justin Hansaker pitched in relief and surrendered an unearned run on a hit and a walk.
"We played out short game well today with bunts," said Burroughs. "We're playing with a lot of confidence right now, and beat a really good pitcher."
Dozier, the Southland's leading hitter, was one-of-four. Mackenzie Handel, Ricardo Sanchez, and Jordan Lenaburg also had a base knock.
The second game of the series will be at 2:00 on Saturday, and the finale will be on Sunday at 1 o'clock.