Lamar, Sam Houston and Abilene Christian top the WAC Southwest standings with a 7-5 conference record.
BEAUMONT, Texas — Junior Ryan Snell belted a three-run home run in the bottom of the first to spark a four-run inning, but Abilene Christian rallied for an 11-8 win Sunday afternoon at Vincent-Beck Stadium to capture the series. Despite the setback, the Cardinals (16-12/7-5 WAC) remain tied for first in the WAC’s Southwest Division.
The first-inning blast from Snell was his second consecutive at-bat with a homer and his third consecutive game with a home run. Snell led a Cardinal offense that scored eight runs on 14 hits. Snell was 3-for-4 at the plate with a home run, five RBIs, and two runs scored. He also drew an intentional walk. Deric LaMontagne also finished the day 2-for-5.
Josh Ekness got the start and pitch two strong innings before running into trouble in the third. Ekness finished the day allowing four runs – three earned – on two hits with three walks and two strike outs. Adam Davis (0-1) took the loss after allowing one earned run in a third of an inning with a strikeout.
Abilene Christian’s starter didn’t make it out of the first inning after allowing four earned runs on two hits to go along with two walks. He was pulled from the game after taking a line drive off the shoulder. Carter Sells came on in relief (in the 5th) and pitched 1.2 of scoreless ball allowing just three hits to secure his second win of the season.
The Cardinals opened the game with a four-run first only to watch ACU hang a four-spot in their half of the third. The Cardinals reclaimed the lead with one in their half of the third and one more in the fourth. Unfortunately, ACU managed to tie the game back at six with a two-run fifth inning and took their first lead of the game in the sixth with four runs. It was a five-run lead heading into the home half of the seventh after the Wildcats tacked on another run.
Trailing by five in the eighth, the Cardinals mounted a rally. Big Red edged closer after loading the bases with two outs in the inning and Snell coming to the plate. The Hardin, Texas, native singled to center scoring two pulling the Cards within three, 11-8. After hanging a zero on the board in the top of the 9th, the Cardinals appeared poised to strike for more in the bottom half of the inning. With runners on first and third, Kevin Bermudez hit a chopper to the shortstop and appeared to beat the throw only to be called out to end the game.
The Cardinals will look to get back in the win column Tuesday when they host Texas Southern in a midweek game. The game against Tigers, will be one of two midweek games for the Cardinals this week, and will start at 6 p.m. from Vincent-Beck Stadium.