ARLINGTON – Seth Spivey's two-run home run, Garrett Demeyer's eight innings of mastery on the mound and Nate Cole's one-third of an inning of relief were exactly what the doctor ordered for the ACU baseball team Sunday afternoon at Clay Gould Field.
Those three pieces of the game – combined with an errorless nine innings in the field – combined to give the Wildcats a 2-1 win over Texas-Arlington in the final game of the UT-Arlington / Hilton Invitational, snapping ACU's four-game losing streak.
The win pushed the Wildcats to 7-6 on the season, while the loss drops the Mavericks to 4-10 on the year. ACU will return to action Tuesday at Dan Law Field in Lubbock when the Wildcats take on Texas Tech at 6:30 p.m. The Wildcats will then hit the road to Stillwater, Okla., for a Thursday afternoon game at Oklahoma State before returning for a three-game home weekend home series against East Central (Okla.).
Spivey – one of the leading hitters in the country at .529 through 13 games – had hit leadoff for the Wildcats through the first 12 games. But Sunday, ACU head coach Britt Bonneau mixed up his lineup, moving freshman shortstop Aaron Draper to the leadoff spot and dropping Spivey into the No. 3 spot. The move produced all the runs the Wildcats would need to get the win.
With one out, Jordan Forrester singled to right field in front of Spivey, who drove a 1-1 pitch from UTA starting pitcher Brad Vachon out to left field for a two-run home run, his second home run of the season. Those two runs were all the Wildcats would get against Vachon, who threw his first complete game of the season, but took the loss to fall to 1-4.
ACU had six hits and drew four walks, but could only push those two runs in the first inning across. But unlike in their previous four games – three of which could possibly have been wins with a key hit or two – the Wildcats' lack of success with runners on base didn't hurt them Sunday.
That's because Demeyere was magnificent in his eight innings of work for the Wildcats. The sophomore from Benbrook gave up just four hits and one walk while striking out five Mavericks in eight innings. He gave up back-to-back two-out doubles to John Michael Twichell and Greg McCall in the fourth inning, but he escaped the inning without further damage.
In his final four innings of work (5-8), Demeyere set down nine straight and 10 of the final 11 he faced, allowing only a two-out walk to Peter Cuomo in the eighth.
But after 108 pitches through eight innings, Demeyere was done and Bonneau went to Brady Rodriguez to start the ninth. But with one out and one on, Rodriguez walked Twichell before getting McCall to ground out to the pitcher for the second out. On that groundout, however, the runners on base moved to second and third, meaning a base hit would tie the game and possibly give the Mavericks the win.
Bonneau then went back to the bullpen and put his No. 1 starter Nate Cole – who was solid in four innings of work Thursday in a 3-1 loss at Oklahoma – into the game to try and win it. Facing pinch-hitter Brandon Vinyard, Cole fell behind 2-0 before evening the count at 2-2 with a foul ball and a swinging strike. But Cole then threw a ball to run the count full. But Vinyard punched the 3-2 pitch into left field where it settled into the glove of Taylor Waters for the game-ending out.
Cole's one-third of an inning of work gave him his first save and it saved the win for Demeyere, who improved to 3-2 on the season.