By Daniel Johnson, Sports Editor
ACU ruled the first half of the Lone Star Conference Tournament, but Angelo State won when it counted most.
The Rams won its last four games in a row to claim the program’s first Lone Star Conference championship after beating ACU 3-1 in the final game of the LSC Postseason Tournament on Wednesday to win their first LSC title in the program’s history.
“What can you say they’re a great team and they deserved it,” said head coach Britt Bonneau.
Despite impressive outings from both ACU pitchers Chris Wiman and Jameson Maj, ACU couldn’t get the hits it needed to overcome Angelo’s early three run lead.
Ram’s starter Cody Broussard held the Wildcats hitless for 5.1 innings and the three runs Angelo scored proved to be enough runs support to win the championship.
“They threw a great guy, and we threw our best but we didn’t come out on top,” Bonneau said.
After not hitting well all game, it appeared ACU might facilitate a comeback in the bottom of the eighth after first baseman Allen Smith knocked a ball out of the park. ACU then after pinch hitter Matt McGuire was hit by a pitch ACU had the tying run at the plate, but pinch runner Travis Catalini was picked off by Broussard and the back-to-back singles by designated hitter J.J. Pacheco and center fielder Matt Spotanski were botched by second baseman Thomas Bumpass strikeout. The eight-inning rally was ACU’s only threat of the game.
Wiman dropped to 9-3 on the season and closer Jameson Maj is still one save away from breaking the Division II record for saves in a season.
Angelo received the automatic bid to the NCAA Division II South Central Regional Tournament and now ACU’s playoff destiny is in the hands of the regional committee who will release the bids on Saturday night.
Angelo State named six players to the all-tournament team while ACU players on the team were Willie Uechi (shortstop), Jordan Schmitt (outfield), Trey Watten (pitcher) and Brian Kennedy (pitcher).
ACU is now 47-13 overall and Angelo extended its record to 45-17 and will make the program’s first postseason appearance in its three-year history.