Baseball bashes NM State 15-9 to claim series victory

College Sports

ABILENE – Led by right fielder Colton Eager’s 4-for-5 afternoon, Abilene Christian baseball Saturday pounded out 16 base hit en route to a 15-9 win over New Mexico State at Crutcher Scott Field.

ACU has won the first two games of this series vs. their future WAC rival, and they’ll meet once more Sunday at 2:05 p.m.

The Wildcats wasted little time erasing an early 1-0 deficit with a three-run first inning followed by five runs scored between the third and fourth frames that gave them the lead for good.

ACU scored all its first inning runs with two outs as the Wildcats’ No. 3 to 8 batters all reached bases. Tommy Cruz (3-5, 3 RBI) tied the score at 1-1 on his first of two doubles. The next two batters were plunked by starter Sammy Natera, who then walked Sebastian Randle (3-4, 5 RBI) with the bases loaded.

Walks continued to haunt Natera in the third as free passes to Mitchell Dickson and Brett Hammit resulted in two runs that provided ACU with a 5-4 lead. Randle plated Dickson with a one out double, and Hammit came home on Cameron Cromer’s fly ball to right field.

The Aggies would tie the score a final time with an unearned run in the fourth, but the Wildcats again were quick to respond with three runs in the bottom half of their inning. Grayson Tatrow scored on a throwing error from third to home plate. Eager hustled home on an infield single by Hammit, and Randle added another run-scoring hit to make it an 8-5 game.

ACU tacked on one more run in the fifth (Cruz SF) and put the game away with a six-run seventh, during which the Wildcats first seven batters all reached base vs. two Aggie relievers. Randle ripped a two-run single this frame to give him a game-high five RBI.

Genner Cervantes whiffed five Aggie batters through 4.2 innings and was lifted in favor of Max Huffing with two on and two out. Huffing (4K) escaped the jam with a fly ball to center field and went on to pitch two more solid frames to earn his first win of the year. He was followed to the mound by Owen Cuffe, Nick Norton and Carter Sells, who punched out three Aggies over the final 2.0 frames.

ACU pitchers have struck out 29 batters in the first two games of the series, while the offense has scored 23 runs on 26 base hits.

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