The Wildcats could not take advantage of a four-game series with first place Tarleton State University this past weekend. The team lost three of four to the No. 24 Texans in Stephenville.
However, they did keep TSU from clinching the Lone Star Conference regular-season championship.
With a sweep, the Texans would have claimed at least a share of the conference title. Instead, TSU is sitting in first place 3.0 games ahead of ACU, Texas A&M-Kingsville and Angelo State who are all deadlocked in second.
“The first two games we didn’t play very well,” said catcher Rodge Macy. “We were kind of lackadaisical. We know how many wins it’s going to take to get to regionals so getting that one win was huge.”
Tarleton finishes its season with a home series versus last-place Cameron University and can clinch their first division championship with at least two wins.
ACU plays four games against Angelo at home for their last series of the season.
“Our conference is so good and equal, anything can happen this next weekend,” said head coach Britt Bonneau.
“We’re looking to get four wins to close out the year,” Macy said. “Conference wise, we want to get second.”
The ‘Cats are now 26-19 overall and 14-10 in the LSC. They lost the first three games of the series before winning 7-2 on Sunday.
Senior outfielder Reed Watson provided insurance for the Wildcats in the finale when he smashed a three-run home run over the left-field wall in the sixth inning.
It was Watson’s first hit of the year. He was 0-for-23 as a part-time outfielder before that bomb.
Junior southpaw Ty Taylor (5-4) pitched a phenomenal game. He went 8.0 innings, fanned seven Texans and allowed just two earned runs.
TSU jumped ahead of the ‘Cats 1-0 in the first inning and would hold that lead until the fifth when catcher Emmett Niland tied the ballgame with a base hit up the middle scoring Seth Spivey.
In the sixth, designated hitter Macy whacked a sharp grounder to second. The ball took a bad hop and bounced off of the second baseman’s chest, allowing Chuck Duarte to score from second. That was immediately followed by Watson’s three-run shot.
The first game of the series resulted in a 9-2 defeat. ACU recorded eight hits against Tarleton’s starter, but only one of those went for extra bases.
The Wildcats were down just 3-1 in the sixth, however the Texans scored three runs on five consecutive hits off starter Austin Palmer.
The team lost both games of a doubleheader on Saturday. Pitcher Carter Hahn was roughed up early in game one in a 12-4 loss. TSU hit a two-run home run in the first and got three more in the third.
“When they (Tarleton) get on base they’re able to do a lot of things because of their speed,” Bonneau said.
The ‘Cats cut the lead down to one in a four-run fourth. Macy whacked a three-run double and then later scored on a dropped fly ball in center field.
Macy came to the plate in the sixth as the game-tying run, but he hit a high chopper that was handled by the second baseman for the inning’s final out.
The Texans got on the board early in game two as well. They hit a solo home run in the first off starter Aaron Lambrix and scored two more in the second on a couple of doubles. Those three runs were just enough as TSU won 3-1.