The Bellarmine Knights handed Abilene Christian senior his first loss of the year after they held on to beat the Wildcats, 5-4, Saturday afternoon at Crutcher Scott Field.
Bellarmine (4-6) started its Spring Break trip to Texas with a loss in Abilene last Sunday to Tarleton State before losing two more mid-week contests at No. 15 Angelo State. The Wildcats (11-8) then won the first two games of this series, but today they were unable to come back from an early 5-0 deficit.
Hahn (3-1), who was coming off a fine outing last week vs. Cameron, was touched up for five runs on nine hits with four strikeouts. The transfer from Lamar surrendered two runs in the third and then found himself down 4-0 in the fourth after allowing a two-run blast off the bat of Anthony Baker. An Andy Gehr RBI single in the fifth made it a 5-0 game and Hahn's day came to an end shortly thereafter.
ACU started to mount its comeback attempt in the fifth after , who doubled, scored two batters later on a fly ball to right field. Then, after leaving the bases loaded against two relievers in the sixth, the Wildcats scored two runs on three hits in the seventh that cut the Knights' lead to 5-3.
The first four ACU batters all reached base that frame, but Bellarmine put a quick stop to the momentum shift after bringing Ryan Dixon out of its bullpen. Dixon struck out the first batter he faced and then allowed a RBI ground ball to before issuing an intentional walk to . And with the bases loaded, Dixon froze on a called strike three.
Dixon punched out two more in the eighth before turning the game over to closer Justin Strohmeier, who left the game-tying run stranded at second after getting Cam Bonifant to end the game on a fielder's choice.
ACU's relievers and were close to perfect after taking over for Hahn to start the sixth. Lambrix retired the first eight batters he faced before giving up a two-out double to Justin Eberenz in the eighth. Rodriguez pitched a 1-2-3 ninth.
Schuetze singled in his last at-bat in the ninth to extend his season-best hitting streak to 11 games. The senior has also reached base in all of ACU's 19 games.
Benjamin Fuchs started for Bellarmine but did not qualify for the win since he only lasted 4.1 innings with three strikeouts. Evan McNair (1-0) picked up his first win of the season after pitching a scoreless frame between the fifth and sixth with two walks and one strikeout.
The Wildcats return to action later this week with home games Tuesday (6 p.m.) and Wednesday (2 p.m.) vs. Delta State.
Information for this story provided by ACU Sports Information.