Five of those runners were left in scoring position as the Wildcats fell to 23-20 overall and 10-11 against the Lone Star Conference, tying them for second-to-last-place with the Texans (19-18).
Tarleton leadoff hitter Ryan Small was credited with the game-winning hit after delivering a RBI triple that carried to the wall in right-center field. Small scored on the following play when a sharp ground ball got the best of first baseman Tyler Eager.
The Texans added an insurance in the ninth off ACU reliever Brady Rodriguez as Ringeberger and Blake Silguero slashed back-to-back-doubles.
As for the ACU offense, the Wildcats' continually threatened Tarleton with a big inning but came away with nothing more than two unearned runs scored by Duncan Blades, whose second run of the night tied the game at 2-2 in the fourth.
Earlier in the game ACU placed runners at second and third with one out in the first inning, but Eager was thrown out at home on Kyle Conwell's tapper back to the mound. Then in the third inning, Rodge Macy hit into a 6-4-3 double play with the bases loaded and one out.
With the game knotted at 2-2 in the seventh, ACU caught another apparent break when Eager reached on the shortstop's error to start the inning. Eager would advance to second on Chuck Duarte's one-out infield single, but was then retired at third after Conwell's shot down the left-field line was smothered by Landon Thompson, who completed the 5-3 twin killing.
The Wildcats also left a runner stranded at third base in the eighth, while another was caught stealing second base in the ninth.
Josh Stone (5-5) started for ACU and kept the Texans off the scoreboard until the fourth, where three hit batsmen combined with a pair of RBI doubles by Jonathan Schmitz and Thompson gave the visitors a 2-1 lead.
Stone helped bail himself out of that jam by picking Thompson off second base and striking Evan Robinson out with a runner at second to end the inning. Stone finished his 6.2 innings of work with five strikeouts and a walk.
Tarleton starter Kenneth Stockton (1-2) earned his first victory of the year behind six strikeouts. He also committed two of his team's six errors on failed pick off attempts.
Austin Coble pitched a scoreless seventh for the Texans, and Britt Robertshaw collected his third save with one strikeout through 2.0 shutout innings.
The Wildcats and Texans continue their four-game series Saturday with a 2 p.m. doubleheader. Each game will last 7.0 innings.