ABILENE -- Lamar scored seven runs in the second inning Sunday and went on to cruise to a 16-7 win over the ACU Wildcats in Southland Conference baseball action at rainy and cold Crutcher Scott Field.
The Cardinals' victory gave them a three-game series sweep of the Wildcats in the first games between the teams since March 16-17, 1973. Lamar, which never trailed in the series, improved to 18-14 overall and 5-7 in the Southland with Sunday's win, while the Wildcats dropped to 12-16 and 2-4.
After each team scored a run in the first inning, the Cardinals put up a seven spot in the second inning that gave them the separation they would need to coast to the win. Jake Sutton had an RBI single to make it 2-1 before Jude Vidrine had an RBI single, Reed Seeley an RBI fielder's choice, Brandon provost an RBI single and Jacoby Middleton a big three-run double to centerfield off relief pitcher Brady Rodriguez that made it 8-1.
ACU starting pitcher Garrett Demeyer -- who entered the game with a sparkling 2.47 ERA -- was tagged for all eight runs (seven earned) in 1 2/3 innings of work. It was his shortest start of the season and left his ERA at 3.67 at day's end.
Lamar tacked on three more runs in the top of the third and two more in the fourth to push its lead to 13-3 before ACU answered with three in the fourth inning to cut it to a 13-6 game. One of ACU's runs in the fourth was driven by shortstop Aaron Draper, whose RBI double to right field plated Colton Hall. Draper was 4 for 5 with three runs scored and two RBI on the day, capping a solid series by the freshman from Plano as he finished the three games a combined 7 for 13 with four runs scored and three RBI.
But that seven-run deficit was as close as the Wildcats would get as Lamar's final four relief pitchers -- Hunter Perry, Travis Moore, Derek Wade and Andrew Beasley -- combined to limit ACU to one run and five hits over the final six innings.
ACU's schedule doesn't get any easier over the next five games as they face three teams with a combined 64-35 record. The Wildcats will be in Lubbock on Tuesday to take on Texas Tech (24-11) at 6:30 p.m. ACU will then return to Southland Conference play Friday night in Huntsville as the Wildcats take on Sam Houston State (21-11) in a three-game series. ACU's final game in this five-game road swing will be Wednesday, April 16, when the Wildcats travel to College Station to take on Texas A&M (19-13) for a 6:35 p.m. game.