`Jacks Snap Losing Streak With 12-8 Win Over ACU
April 17, 2014
ABILENE, Texas – The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack baseball team scored six runs in the top of the fifth and held off a late rally to pick up a 12-8 win over Abilene Christian on Thursday night at Crutcher Scott Field.
The win for SFA (16-21, 7-9 SLC) snaps its season-high, six-game losing streak and gives the ‘Jacks their first win since April 6. The series opener was also the first-ever meeting between SFA and the Wildcats (12-22, 2-8 SLC).
Senior Ricardo Sanchez led the way for the ‘Jacks at the plate, finishing 3-for-6. Sanchez was one of two SFA players to record multi-hit games, joined by freshman Nick Ramos. Sanchez finished with three RBI and a run scored, while Ramos went 2-for-4 with two walks and an RBI.
Brothers Brett Thornell (2) and Kyle Thornell (4) scored a combined six times, while each recording a hit. Kyle Thornell’s lone hit came in a solo homerun to right field in the sixth inning, his fourth of the season.
Sophomore Chris Hassold picked up his first win of his career, logging three innings of relief for starter Cameron Gann. Hassold gave up just one run and one walk, recording five strikeouts, in 13 batters faced. Hassold was 0-1 as a freshman in 2013. Freshman Patrick Ledet pitched one and one-third of an inning of scoreless relief to secure the victory.
After a scoreless frame from both team to open the game, the ‘Jacks scored three runs in the top of the second to take an early lead on ACU. Ramos walked to open the frame, before SFA put runners at the corners on an error by the pitcher on a sac bunt from Brett Thornell. Ramos would score in the next at bat on a wild pitch, before senior Gevon Jackson advanced Thornell to third. Kyle Thornell then reached on a hit by pitch to put runners at the corners, before Brett Thornell scored on a groundout in the infield. Kyle Thornell then followed, scoring on a single to center field from Sanchez to go up 3-0.
The 3-0 lead would not last long however, as the Wildcats scored three runs of their own to tie it 3-3 through three innings. ACU’s Brando Grudzielanek scored Seth Spivey on a fielder’s choice with the bases loaded, before the Wildcats scored two on consecutive double-steal attempts with runners at the corners.
The first seven batters reached base for the ‘Jacks, as SFA plated six in the top of the fifth to bust the game open at 9-3. Two of the first three runs for the ‘Jacks came in on walks with the bases loaded, with SFA taking advantage of a error on a fielder’s choice and a wild pitch to plate two more. Sanchez drove in the only run of the frame, the team’s second of the inning, on a single through the right side, as freshman Conner Fikes drove in the final run on a grounder the other way for the team’s first out.
Both teams traded a run in the sixth, as Kyle Thornell knocked a solo shot to make it 10-4, before the Wildcats attempted a rally in the bottom of the eighth. After the ‘Jacks scored two in the top frame to go up 12-4, ACU recorded three consecutive singles to load the bases, before freshman Jarred Greene struck out Chris Altimont for the first out. The Wildcats responded with a double down the right field line from Spivey to score two runs, eventually adding two more on a throwing error to make it 12-8.
SFA will go for the series win on Friday, sending junior Dillon Mangham to the mound opposite ACU’s Brady Rodriguez.