ABILENE – Tarleton used timely hitting and an Abilene Christian error in the top of the ninth inning to score two runs to break a tie game and take down the Wildcats 9-7 at Crutcher Scott Field.
With the game knotted up at seven-all heading to the ninth inning, freshman Jaime Perez led the inning off with a double down the left field line and advanced to third on a passed ball a few pitches later. Bryan Aguilar walked in the next at-bat to place two Texans on base.
Fellow freshman Trace Morrison reached on a fielder’s choice to score Perez and give Tarleton the 8-7 lead. A failed pickoff attempt by ACU closer Tanner Riley sent Aguilar home and just like that the Texans led by two.
Head coach Aaron Meade sent Matthew Hickey out in the bottom half to try and get the save. Hickey struck two Wildcats out and included a flyout to left field for the final out to earn his fourth save of the season.
The Texan bats were hot once again as they posted 12 hits to ACU’s four. It was the fifth game in a row Tarleton has reached double digit hits.
ACU took the 1-0 lead in the first inning, but it did not last long. In the top of the second, Corey Young sent a shot over the left field wall for a three-run home run to give Tarleton the lead.
Tarleton starting pitcher Luke Baley threw 5.0 innings allowing six runs (just one earned). Three Tarleton errors in the bottom of the fifth allowed ACU to get five runs across and take a 6-3 lead.
The Texans put up two runs each in the fifth and sixth to claw back and retake the lead 7-6. ACU walked in a Texan after they hit two batters in a row in the fifth. Following that, Morrison singled to right field to score Perez for his first RBI of the game.
Zach Poe (1-0) earned the win for Tarleton as he pitched 2.1 scoreless innings.
The two teams return to action on Saturday at 3:05 p.m. CT at Crutcher Scott Field in Abilene. The game will be streamed on ESPN+.