• 72°

BASEBALL: Big fourth inning propels ACU past Lamar

Lamar sports information

ABILENE — A big fourth inning was the difference Thursday in the first game between Lamar and Abilene Christian. The Wildcats took a 6-3 decision over the Cards with a three-run fourth.

Lamar’s Dylan Johnson looked good in his longest relief appearance of the year with just one run allowed in 3 2/3 innings of work. The freshman from Splendora struck out four while walking none and surrendering five hits.

Lamar(13-25, 5-14 Southland) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second. JC Correa doubled to lead off the inning and reached third on a flyer to right from Anthony Quirion. A one-out single from Robin Adames up the middle scored Correa but back-to-back strikeouts ended the Cardinal rally. Starter Noah Sills stranded a lead-off single with his first strikeout of the day and LU led 1-0 through two innings.

Abilene(20-17, 7-9) began fighting back into the game in the third. The Wildcats a single, a walk, and a double all with one out and scored the second run on a sac fly. ACU lead 2-1 through three.

The Wildcats carried that offense into the fourth. A lead-off double led to a two-run homer that was followed by two more singles. A fifth hit, a two-out single, scored the third run of the inning.

Lamar’s biggest inning came in the top of the fifth. Adames drew a lead-off walk and reached third when Jorge Gutierrez and Cole Girouard were walked with one out. Avery George and Cole Coker singled Adames and Gutierrez home to re-load the bases twice, but a deep fly-out to right ended the inning. Heading into the bottom of the fifth ACU led 5-3. A lead-off triple scored on a one-out single in the bottom of the fifth and ACU led 6-3 through five.

Johnson and Ryan Erickson combined to shut out the Wildcats the final three innings and Lamar loaded the bases in the top of the sixth but couldn’t convert a run. Lamar’s final offensive output came in the top of the eighth. A two-out walk of Gutierrez scored on singles by Cole Girouard and Avery George to pull Lamar within two, 6-4.

First pitch on Friday is set for 6:30 p.m. with LHP Jason Blanchard (3-3, 2.70 ERA) facing RHP Brock Barger (2-4, 4.66 ERA).