Angelo State pitching stifles Wildcats as Rams sweep doubleheader
The Angelo State Rams were the beneficiaries of two dominating pitching performances Saturday as they swept a Lone Star Conference baseball doubleheader from the ACU Wildcats at Crutcher Scott Field.
The Rams won the first game, 3-1, behind ace Jake Feckley, and then used a pair of pitchers en route to a 6-1 win over the Wildcats in the second game.
The Wildcats and Rams will wrap up their four-game series Sunday with a single game at 1 p.m. ACU leads the all-time series against the Rams, 24-18, and Sunday's game could mark the final time these two teams meet in regular-season play.
The two losses drop the Wildcats to fourth place in the LSC with one regular-season game to play before next weekend's LSC Post-Season Tournament in Canyon. Tarleton State clinched the regular-season title Saturday with a win at Canyon, giving the Texans top seed in the tournament. Texas A&M-Kingsville is in second place, followed by Angelo State, ACU, West Texas A&M and Incarnate Word. Those are the six teams that will play for the conference championship in Canyon.
Game 1 (Angelo State 3, ACU 1) -- Feckley ran his record to 9-3 with a complete-game performance. He limited the Wildcats to just four hits and one run while striking out four batters.
The Rams got all the runs they would need in the first inning as each of the first three hitters of the game singled, including Lee Newumann's RBI single to center field. After ACU pitcher Austin Palmer hit a batter to re-load the bases, Andrew LaCombe drove in a run with a fielder's choice to make it 2-0.
The Wildcats then had LaCombe picked off on a stolen base attempt, but first baseman Tyler Eager's throw hit him in the back and went into left field, which allowed Neumann to score an unearned run to make it 3-0.
ACU -- which left six runners on base in the game -- had its chances, but left two on base in th second, one on in the sixth and two on in the seventh. The Wildcats' lone run in the game came on a Kyle Giusti double that plated Eager to make it 3-1 after three innings.
But Palmer and Feckley wouldn't let anything else across the plate as the game settled into a pitcher's duel. Palmer was just as effective as Feckley, going all seven innings and giving up just sixt hits while striking out five batters and not allowing a walk.
Game 2 (Angelo State 6, ACU 1) -- The Wildcats suffered a Saturday doubleheader sweep for the second straight weekend as the Rams touched ACU starting pitcher Carter Hahn for 11 hits and six runs in five innings of work.
Hahn entered the game having allowed just 30 runs all season (27 earned), but the Rams got to him for three doubles and two triples among their 11 hits.
ACU got on the board first when Rodge Macy scored on an error by ASU second baseman Tyler Coughenour, but that was the only run the Wildcats would manage to put up in the second game. Angelo pitcher Mike Weatherly gave up nine hits in 5 2/3 innings of work, but none went for extra bases. He walked two batters, but struck out four and continually worked out of trouble as the Wildcats left 10 runners on base.
ACU left two on in the first, third, fourth and sixth innings and one on in the second and seventh innings.
Angelo State broke the game open with four runs in the fifth against Hahn. Reggie Rodriguez had the biggest hit in the inning with a two-run triple to left-centerfield to make it 5-1. He scored immediately after on a perfectly executed squeeze bunt by David Goggin to make it 6-1.
Information provided by ACU Athletics Dept.