ABILENE, Texas - ACU sophomore Garrett Demeyere threw the first nine-inning shutout for the Wildcats in more than nine years Saturday afternoon as he lifted the Wildcats to a 3-0 series-clinching win over Stephen F. Austin at Crutcher Scott Field.
The series win is the Wildcats' second in Southland Conference play as they improve to 14-22 overall and 4-8 in the Southland. The Lumberjacks, meanwhile, fall to 16-23 and 7-7. ACU will be back in action Monday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. when it hosts McMurry in a game that will mark the end of a day of festivities on the campus honoring university vice president Dr. Gary McCaleb for his 50 years of service to ACU.
Demeyere was dominant in limiting the Lumberjacks to just four singles in throwing the first nine-inning shutout for ACU since Ben Brockman blanked Tarleton State, 1-0, on three hits back on April 8, 2005. Only two Lumberjack baserunners advanced to second base and no runner reached third base on the day as Demeyere set down six batters on strikeouts and didn't walk a man as he improved to 4-4 on the season
SFA starting pitcher Kevin Bishop matched Demeyere zero for zero through six innings as he allowed just one hit and one walk through six innings of work. Bishop set down the first 10 men he faced in the game and didn't allow a Wildcat baserunner past second base through the first six innings.
But the Wildcats finally broke through in the seventh inning with a pair of runs, thanks to hits from the bottom of the lineup. With one out, Brandon Grudzielanek singled to right field to bring up Emil Litterer, who had just four RBI on the season before the at-bat.
But with Bishop paying close attention to Grudzielanek at first with three straight pickoff attempts, Litterer seemed to be an afterthought to the SFA pitcher. But Litterer turned on a 1-0 fastball from Bishop and sent it sailing over the head of leftfielder Kyle Thornell into the left field corner.
Grudzielanek tore around the bases and crossed the plate with the only run the Wildcats would need to win the game. With Litterer on second after the double, Gunnar Buhner moved him to second with a groundout to second base, and then No. 7 hitter Heath Beasley brought in Litterer with an RBI single, pushing the ACU lead to 2-0.
ACU scored one more time in the eighth on a one-out RBI single to left field by Litterer that brought in Tyler Eager to make it 3-0.
That was all Demeyere needed as he worked around a two-out error in the ninth to retire Ricardo Sanchez on a fly ball to Eager in centerfield to end the game.
Information for this story provided by Abilene Christian Athletics.