The Wildcats (13-3) got their first look at conference play this past weekend with a 3-0 series sweep against Stephen F. Austin (6-10).
The Wildcats, who were coming off a 3-1 series win against Houston Christian the previous weekend, were looking to open up conference play with a bang against the Lumberjacks.
Game one would start off slow with the Lumberjacks scoring one run in the third and both teams going scoreless until the fifth. SFA would tally on one more run with an inside-the-park homerun to take a 2-0 lead into the sixth.
In the bottom of the sixth, after a pair of wild pitches, senior outfielder Grayson Tatrow was able to steal home and get the Cats on the board. Following the first run, freshman catcher Maddox Miesse knocked down a triple and set up junior infielder Crewe Parke to grab an RBI single and tie up the game. However, the inning wasn’t over for ACU, as two more singles would allow Parke to score and for the Wildcats to take a 3-2 lead into the seventh.
The Lumberjacks would respond quickly in the seventh however and add on two more runs to regain the lead.
With the Wildcats down 4-3 heading into the bottom of the eight, the team once again was looking for some late-game magic. After a pair of wild pitches and a walk, ACU would find themselves with the tying run on third and the go-ahead run on second with no outs.
Junior infielder Garrett Williams would bring home the first run to tie it on a sacrifice fly and just two batters later junior outfielder Logan Britt would knock down an RBI single to put ACU up one. Tatrow would then extend the lead for the Wildcats with a two-run double giving ACU a 7-4 lead heading into the last inning.
After a quick out and a double play, ACU would close the game out and take a 1-0 lead in the series.
In game two, both teams seemed to have found their groove for the weekend. SFA would start off the first getting one run on the board. Tatrow would grab a single with the bases loaded to bring in the first run, Miesse would get on from an error and score another run, and after a sacrifice fly from junior outfielder Eric Martin, Parke would bring in another run to put the ACU up 4-1 after inning No.1.
In the second, Britt would score off a wild pitch to put the Cats up 5-1, but not before the Lumberjacks would make up some ground in the third by tallying two more runs.
After another error by SFA in the fourth, ACU would add another run to their total, and then in the sixth, Britt would launch a two-run home run to put the Wildcats up 8-3.
SFA would once again respond and hit a three-run home run in the eighth to cut the lead to two runs with the bottom of the eighth coming up.
The Wildcats would allow no chance of a comeback putting on three runs in the bottom of the eight giving ACU the 11-6 victory.
In the final game of the series, ACU jumped off to an early 1-0 lead thanks to an RBI single from Tatrow in the first. SFA would grab three of their own in the second off of an unfortunate error and a two-run single.
In the third, junior outfielder Miller Ladusau would knock down a triple to start off the inning and Britt would drive him in with an infield single to make the score 3-2. Senior catcher Tanner Tweedt would then regain the lead for the Wildcats with a home run to make the score 4-3.
Junior left-hander, Max Huffling, would come in for the Wildcats in the fifth and deliver 4 strong innings pitched giving up only one run. In the fight, Tweedt would launch his second home run on the day to make it 5-3 and junior outfielder Jake Skaggs would drive in another to make it 6-3 ACU.
The Wildcats were not done however and would grab two more runs in the seventh and one in the eighth to take a 9-4 lead into the top of the ninth. With the bases loaded and no outs, junior right-hander Blake Anderson would come in for the Wildcats and give ACU the 9-6 win and the 3-0 series sweep.
ACU is off to their best start in the Divison 1 era of the program having gone 13-3 to start off the season.
The Wildcats will look to keep it up in a midweek matchup against Oral Roberts on Wednesday at 12:05 p.m. at Crutcher Scott Field. The game will be broadcast on WAC International and the ACU Sports Network.
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