LAWTON, Okla. - ACU's offense broke out of its slumber on Saturday, and its late-game outburst late in the fourth game of the series helped the Wildcats salvage another four-game series split in Lone Star Conference baseball action at Cameron Field.
The Wildcats - who lost 3-0 in Friday's first game and led 9-4 when the second game of the doubleheader was suspended - ended up winning a wild contest, 17-13, to earn a split of the first doubleheader. Cameron, though, came back to win the first game of Saturday's scheduled twinbill, 7-2, and led 10-6 going to the eight inning of the second game before ACU rallied for seven runs in its final two at-bats to pull out a 13-10 win and a series split.
ACU will be back in action Tuesday at Crutcher Scott Field when it takes on Texas-Permian Basin in a non-conference game at 3:35 p.m.
ACU - 22-19 overall and 10-10 in the LSC - has split all five four-game league series this season and sits in fifth place in the league standings, one-half game ahead of sixth-place Tarleton State. The Wildcats host the Texans (17-17 and 9-10) this weekend in Abilene and then finish up the regular season next weekend in San Angelo against Angelo State, which is in a three-way tie for first place with Texas A&M-Kingsville and West Texas A&M at 12-7 in LSC play.
In the second game of Saturday's scheduled doubleheader, the Wildcats led 3-0 early and 5-2 after the top of the fourth before the Aggies scored five in the fourth and three in the fifth to take a 10-6 lead. The game stayed that way until ACU's offense came to life in the top of the eighth with four runs and then three more to break a 10-10 tie in the top of the ninth.
Trailing 10-6 to start the eighth, Mike Keegan and Emmett Niland opening the inning with back-to-back singles before Reed Watson popped out. Kyle Conwell then delivered a pinch-hit RBI single to right to make it 9-7. Duncan Blades came in to run for Conwell, and he and Niland scored on Chuck Duarte's two-run double to right-centerfield that made it 10-9. Freshman Tyler Eager then tied the game when his double down the left field line drove in Duarte to make it 10-10.
ACU pitcher Brady Rodriguez - who threw 4 1/3 innings of four-hit, scoreless baseball to finish up the game - worked around an ACU error in the bottom of the eighth to send the game to the ninth tied at 10-10.
Travis Schuetze then led off the ninth with a single and went to second when pinch-hitter Ryan Luckie reached on a Cameron error. With Schuetze at third, Blades lifted a fly ball to centerfield that was deep enough to score Schuetze and give the Wildcats an 11-10 lead.
With the bases loaded, Eager singled through the right side to drive in both Reed Watson and Luckie to make it 13-10. The Aggies got out of the inning without any more runs scoring, but the damage was already done. Rodriguez worked around a two-out single in the bottom of the ninth and the Wildcats picked up an important win in their chase for a spot in the conference post-season tournament.
In the first game of Saturday's scheduled doubleheader, the Wildcat got two runs in the top of the third to take the lead, but the Aggies with a single run in the third, two in the fourth, one in the fifth and three in the sixth to pull away for the 7-2 win in the seven-inning contest.
ACU's only runs in the game came on an RBI fielder's choice by Luckie and a steal of home by Michael Cristiani. Aaron Lambrix went the distance for the Wildcats, giving up 11 hits and seven runs (all earned) while walking one and striking out two Aggies.
In the resumption of Friday's suspended game, the Aggies put eight runs on the board in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game at 9-9.
The Wildcats, though, answered with five runs in the top of the sixth and three more in the top of the seventh to pull away for the 17-13 victory.
In the sixth, Duarte had an RBI single, followed by a sacrifice fly RBI from Eager to make it 11-9. Schuetze then had the big hit of the inning with a two-out, three-run double to make it 14-9.
The Wildcats continued to put runs on the board in the seventh when Luckie hit a two-run home run to left and Duarte hit a solo home run to left-centerfield to make it 17-10. The Aggies would tack on three runs in the bottom of the eighth, but Schuetze pitched the bottom of the ninth and was able to work around two Aggie hits to close out the win.