ABILENE, Texas - The ACU Wildcats appeared to have everything going their way in Sunday's regular-season finale against Angelo State at Crutcher Scott Field.
They had a 2-1 lead going to the eighth and their best relief pitcher on the mound trying to protect the lead and secure a series split.
But it all blew up with two outs in the top of the eighth as the Rams rallied for a 4-2 win and a series victory in the regular-season finale for both teams.
The loss drops the Wildcats to 28-22 overall and 15-13 in the LSC, while the Rams finish at 33-17 and 17-11. The Rams will be the No. 3 seed in the tournament behind regular-season champion Tarleton State and No. 2 seed Texas A&M-Kingsville with West Texas A&M the No. 4 seed, followed by ACU at No. 5 and Incarnate Word at No. 6.
ACU will play Texas A&M-Kingsville on Friday at a time to be determined. The Wildcats are 3-2 this season against the Javelinas.
Both Angelo and ACU scored a single run in their half of the third inning Sunday as starting pitchers Jake Albert for Angelo and Ty Taylor for ACU were able to keep the opposing offenses under control.
But in the bottom of the fifth, the Wildcats got a leadoff single from Seth Spivey and a sacrifice bunt from Tyler Eager to move Spivey into scoring position. One out later, Kyle Conwell came through with a single to left to drive in Spivey and put the Wildcats on top, 2-1.
Taylor made that lead hold up through the sixth and seventh innings and then gave way to Brady Rodriguez to try and close it out.
But for one of the few times this season, Rodriguez couldn't nail down the win. With one out he gave up back-to-back singles before striking out Reggie Rodriguez for the second out.
Then on a 3-2 pitch, he left a curveball outside and hit David Goggin to load the bases. Redshirt freshman Hunter Choate then stepped in and drove a 2-2 pitch from Rodriguez deep into the gap in left-centerfield for a bases-clearing double that gave the Rams a 4-2 lead.
The Wildcats couldn't do anything in four innings against ASU freshman pitcher Graylon Brown, who went the final four innings and allowed just two hits and no runs. He struck out two Wildcats in the ninth as ACU went down without mounting a threat in the final two innings.
Information provided by ACU athletics department.