SFA Rally Falls Short In Loss To ACU
April 18, 2014
ABILENE, Texas – The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack baseball team scored three runs in the top of the ninth inning, but Abilene Christian held off the rally for a 8-6 win on Good Friday at Crutcher Scott Field to even the series 1-1.
Sophomore Kyle Thornell hit a bases-clearing double two outs in the top frame for SFA (16-22, 7-10 SLC) to bring the tying run to the plate, before the Wildcats (13-22, 3-8 SLC) induced a groundout to end the game.
The ‘Jacks outhit ACU 12-9, but were plagued for four errors in the loss. Seniors Zach Marberry and Brett Thornell led SFA at the plate, each picking up three hits on the day. Marberry finished 3-for-5 with his league-leading 15th double of the season and two runs scored. Thornell finished 3-for-4 with a double, his ninth of the season and two RBI. His brother, Kyle Thornell, finished 2-for-2 with a double, three RBI and a run scored.
Junior Dillon Mangham (5-4) took the loss, allowing five runs (two earned) across five and one-third innings pitched. The native of Temple, Texas, surrendered just four hits, while recording three strikeouts in 26 batters faced. Freshman Torin Hickman pitched a scoreless eighth inning, as one of four pitchers called out of the pen against the Wildcats.
ACU struck first, taking advantage of a costly throwing error, to plate three runs in the bottom of the first. Seth Spivey was hit by a pitch to open the bottom frame, before advancing to second base on a fielder’s choice that did not yield an out. One batter later, both he and Jordan Forrester, who reached on the fielder’s choice, came in on a throwing error by Mangham on a sac bunt. The throwing error allowed Tyler Eager to advance all the way to third, before he came in on a single up to center field in the team’s next at bat.
The 3-0 deficit would remain until the top of the fourth, when the ‘Jacks scratched their first runs of the game across. Both Marberry and Kyle Thornell singled to open the frame, before each advanced up a base on a groundout to second by freshman Nick Ramos. The two then scored one batter later, as Brett Thornell doubled to left center to cut it to 3-2.
The Wildcats scored one run in both the bottom of both the fifth and sixth innings, before SFA was able to score again. The ‘Jacks scored one on a wild pitch in the top of the seventh inning, but ACU responded with two in bottom frame and added one in the eighth to take a 8-3 lead over SFA entering the ninth.
The ‘Jacks will look to bounce back and go for the series win on Saturday, sending senior Kevin Bishop to the mound opposite Garrett Demeyere of the Wildcats. The series finale is scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m.