HUNTSVILLE - Sam Houston State hit for the cycle in a five-run fourth inning Friday night, paving the way to an 8-3 win over ACU in Southland Conference baseball action at Don Sanders Baseball Stadium.
The loss is the fifth straight for the Wildcats, who fall to 12-18 overall and 2-5 in Southland play, while the Bearkats improve to 23-11 and 7-6. Because of a hih probability of rain on Sunday, the teams will wrap up the series with a 4 p.m. doubleheader Saturday.
Sam Houston led 1-0 through three innins as the Wildcats unveiled a new lineup that had starting pitcher Garrett Demeyere playing shortstop, normal starting catcher Seth Spivey playing second base and usual starting second baseman Gunnar Buhner at second base.
The Wildcats -- who are last in the Southland Conference in fielding percentage -- didn't have an error in the game with the new defensive alignment. Demeyere -- who played shortstop in high school and in junior collee -- was tested immediately as he fielded a ground ball in the bottom of the first inning and threw out Sam Houston leadoff hitter Corey Toups for the first out of the inning.
But the Bearkats got to ACU starting pitcher Nate Cole in the fourth as Luke Plucheck singled with one out and scored on a double by Shea Pierce to make it 2-0. Toups then came up and hammered a 1-1 pitch over the wall in left field for the first of his two home runs in the game, pushing the Bearkats' lead to 4-0.
With two outs, Anthony Azar singled and then scored on an RBI triple by Ryan O'Hearn, completing the team cycle in the inning. Joe Gawrieh then came on in relief of Cole and delivered a wild pitch that scored O'Hearn to make it 6-0. Gawrieh got out of the inning without further damage, but the six-run hole was too much for ACU to overcome against Sam Houston pitcher Jason Simms, who scattered six hits over eight-plus innings.
Sam Houston scored a run in the sixth and then Toups delivered a solo home run in the seventh to make it an 8-0 game.
ACU finally got its offense going in the ninth inning, but it was too little late. The Wildcats scored three runs on an RBI groundout by Brandon Grudzielanek, an RBI single by Colton Hall, and a wild pitch that scored Spivey.
Information for this story provided by Abilene Christian Athletics.
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