By Daniel Johnson, Sports Editor
Behind the arm of junior pitcher Chris Wiman, No. 1 seeded ACU won its first game Saturday night in its quest for the program’s first Lone Star Conference Championship since 2002.
ACU beat Texas A&M-Kingsville 9-2 in the LSC postseason tournament and Wiman recorded his ninth win of the season after posting seven scoreless innings and only giving up three hits, three walks and striking out four batters.
“When Wiman throws the way Wiman can throw, that’s all we need,” said head coach Britt Bonneau.
Nine runs was all Wiman needed for the win, as ACU scored three in the second and added onto its lead with six more in the ninth. Wiman had a no-hitter runing until the sixth inning when Kingsville second baseman Clay Bocholt spoiled hit a single between first and second base.
Kingsville got to Wiman again in the seventh inning claiming two hits, but Wiman did not give up any runs in against Kingsville.
“Yeah I thought about it a little bit,” Wiman said of his possible no hitter. “But I’m not the type of guy to be sitting on the end of the bench quiet, I’d rather be in the dugout cheering and hollering for my team.”
Kingsville’s two runs came in the eighth inning off of relief pitcher Matt Sullivan, but the Javelinas were unable to add onto their late run rally as closer Jameson pitched three up three down in the ninth inning.
Maj, who is one save away from tying the NCAA single season record, did not pitch long enough to pick up a save. Shortstop Willy Uechi led the Wildcats with three hits while third baseman Trey Watten and first baseman Allen Smith each tied for the team leading 2 RBI.
ACU is now 45-11, which ties the record for wins in a season set the 2002 squad and tied by the 2003 squad. The was also ACU’s 11th straight win and the last 14th win out of the last 15 games played. ACU will have a shot to break the overall wins record with a win against Southwestern Oklahoma State on Sunday.
Southwestern lost 4-1 to Angelo State in its first game of the tournament Saturday and could be eliminated if the Bulldogs lose to ACU. Bonneau said either right hander Brian Kennedy or Matt Davis will start against Southwestern, a team ACU had a 1.93 ERA against in the regular season. ACU was 4-0 against Southwestern the first time the two met, but Wiman said that anything could happen.
“We can’t have the kind of mentality that we can just whoop them,” Wiman said.
Weather permitting, ACU and Southwestern will play at 3 p.m., Sunday at Crutcher Scott Field.