Brady Rodriguez retired all five batters he faced, three on strikes, for his first save of the season and Abilene Christian held on for an 11-8 victory over Eastern New Mexico University on Friday night in the opener of a four-game Lone Star Conference series at Greyhound Field.
First baseman Tyler Edgar went 3-for-5 and scored three runs from the leadoff position for the Wildcats (17-13, 5-4 LSC), who were cruising until the Greyhounds (9-17, 0-9) mounted a late comeback behind six RBIs from junior first baseman Daniel Binz.
The Hounds endured their 10th consecutive loss despite a 17-hit attack, matching a season best. The teams meet in a noon doubleheader today before finishing it off with a 1 p.m. game on Sunday.
Binz went 3-for-4 and got the Hounds on the board with a fourth-inning sacrifice fly, making it 3-1. He added a two-run homer — his third of the season — in the sixth, an RBI single in the seventh and a two-run infield single in the eighth, cutting ACU's lead to 10-8.
Rodriguez, the Wildcats' fourth pitcher, took over and struck out Sam Hedrick and Mike Medina to leave Binz, who had stolen second, stranded.
Senior designated hitter Mitch Wolfe finished 4-for-5 with two doubles and three runs scored for the Hounds, while center fielder Brooke Brooks was 3-for-5 with two runs scored and a pair of run-scoring singles.
Josh Stone (4-2) threw 111 pitches in six innings to notch the win for the Wildcats, allowing nine hits and four runs with seven strikeouts. Senior right-hander Andrew Martin (2-4) took the loss after giving up 11 hits and seven runs in five innings.
Eager, Kyle Conwell and Chuck Duarte hit RBI singles in a four-run fifth which staked the Wildcats to a 7-1 lead. Errors by second baseman Jordan Vina and Hedrick at third allowed two unearned ACU runs in the sixth for a 9-2 lead.