STEPHENVILLE – Kemuel Thomas-Rivera had five hits, but ACU managed to stay ahead throughout as they scored in bursts to take the 7-4 win at the Tarleton Baseball Complex on Saturday afternoon to clinch the series.
Tarleton (13-33, 6-17 WAC) starting pitcher Jake Burcham (L, 0-4) threw 2.2 innings giving up three runs on four hits. He struck out and walked two. ACU (25-21, 13-10 WAC) scored three in the second on two hits to get their scoring started and make it 3-1. Wildcat starting pitcher Genner Cervantes (W, 5-3) struck out a career-high 11 batters in 5.0 innings. He allowed two runs on six hits to go with two free passes.
Thomas-Rivera finished with a career-high five hits to go with three RBI. He hit a two-run home run out to Washington Street in the ninth inning to cut the deficit to 7-4. He hit an RBI single through the left side in the first, singled to center in the third, doubled down the left field line in the fifth, and singled up the middle in the seventh to go with the home run.
Tarleton reliever Zach Gagnon was stellar out of the pen, keeping Tarleton within reach throughout his outing. The junior out of Québec struck out a career-high five batters in 4.1 innings of work, allowing two runs on three hits and walking none. He struck out the five batters all in a row, as he struck the side out in the fifth and then punched out the first two Wildcats in the sixth.
The Texans brought a run across in the fifth as Taylor Daniell hit an RBI single to right-center to score Dylan Kurahashi-Choy Foo, who scored a team-high two runs on the afternoon. The run made it a 4-2 ACU lead, but Tarleton would not score again until the ninth inning as ACU plated two in the eighth and one in the ninth to make it 7-2.
Wildcat reliever Max Huffling threw 4.0 innings in relief giving up two runs on three hits. The runs did not come until Thomas-Rivera’s home run. Huffling entered in the sixth and allowed just two hits over the next three innings.
Zach Poe threw 2.0 innings for Tarleton as he made his ninth straight appearance. He allowed two runs on two hits with one strikeout.
ACU was led offensively by Tanner Tweedt and Grayson Tatrow. Tweedt led the team with three hits and Tatrow finished with two hits. He hit a solo home run over the center field wall in the eighth. Three different Wildcats finished with two RBI.