The Wildcat offense could not get anything going against Angelo State’s starting pitchers this past weekend. The ‘Cats lost three of four to the Rams which dropped the team from second place to fifth in the Lone Star Conference.
“We have to hit better,” said utility-man Travis Schuetze. “We can’t expect our pitchers to throw zeroes every night.”
ACU finishes the regular season with a 28-22 overall record and a 15-13 mark in the conference. ASU finishes at 33-17 and 17-11.
The Rams will represent the No. 3 seed in the Lone Star Conference Championship Tournament starting this weekend. Regular-season champion Tarleton State is the No. 1 seed followed by No. 2 Texas A&M-Kingsville. West Texas A&M is No. 4, the Wildcats are No. 5 and Incarnate Word rounds out the sixth spot.
“We have to win as many games as possible to get a regional bid,” Schuetze said.
The ‘Cats will play Kingsville on Friday at 3:30 p.m. in Canyon. The squad is 3-2 against the Javelinas this season. They took a four-game series from TAMU-K earlier this year in Kingsville.
ACU won the first game of the series with Angelo State, 7-2 but fell in the next three games 3-1, 6-1 and 4-2. Starter Aaron Lambrix (4-4) was stellar in the one win. He tossed seven innings while scattering six hits and did not give up an earned run. He also struck out five batters.
The offense brought across four runs in the third inning of that contest. The Wildcats trailed 1-0 going into the bottom of the third before the first three batters of the inning reached base. Schuetze and Ty Taylor both got on with bunts when they were trying to sacrifice.
First baseman Tyler Eager beat out an infield hit with the bases loaded which plated Emmett Niland. The ball then rolled past the second baseman allowing Schuetze to score the go-ahead run on the error.
Following a sacrifice bunt by Chuck Duarte, Kyle Giusti hit a single to center field driving in Taylor to make it 3-1. Kyle Conwell whacked a sacrifice fly that plated Eager for the final run of the inning.
“Friday, we got good pitching and hit the ball a lot,” Schuetze said. “The next three games we didn’t hit as well as on Friday.”
In the finale Sunday, the ‘Cats led the Rams 2-1 going into the eighth and had closer Brady Rodriguez on the mound. Rodriguez, who has been lights out all season, allowed three runs with two outs which gave ASU a 4-2 advantage they would not relinquish.
Rodriguez gave up back-to-back singles with one out then with two outs, he hit a batter to load the bases. The next hitter caused all the damage with a bases-clearing double to deep left-centerfield.
“There were a couple of hitters we had two strikes on,” said head coach Britt Bonneau. “We just weren’t able to get that pitch we wanted.”