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ACU walks off with big win over Incarnate Word

Published On: Mar 17 2013 08:15:05 PM CDT
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ABILENE, Texas -

Senior pinch hitter 's two-out RBI single in the 10th inning gave Abilene Chrisitan a 5-4 victory and a series win over Lone Star Conference rival Incarnate Word Sunday afternoon at Crutcher Scott Field.

The win lifted ACU's season and conference marks to 15-10 and 3-1, while the 24th-ranked Cardinals fell to 15-7 and 1-3.

Roland, who missed all of 2012 with an injury, came to the plate with only 10 at-bats and one hit under his belt, but turned on the first pitch he saw from Cardinal closer Joe Mills (1-1), knocking it far enough into right to score all the way from second base.

Eager led off the inning with a single to finish 2-for-5.

Roland's hit also made a winner of ACU closer (1-0), who had just escaped a two-on, one-out jam in the tenth with a tailor-made 6-4-3 double play off the bat of Jason Stone.

started for ACU and came close to not making it out of the first inning as he walked the first three batters before getting a RBI ground-out, a pop up, and the first of what would be nine strikeouts. But he also walked seven and hit a batter; mistakes that eventually led to three more Cardinal runs.

After scoring just once in the first, UIW pushed its lead to 3-0 in the second as the Cardinals sent seven men to the plate.

Taylor walked Stone with one out and hit leadoff batter Derrick Walls with two, and those free passes kept the inning alive for consecutive RBI singles from Lukas Miller and John Zule.

Luckily for the Wildcats, Taylor settled down fast and allowed just two more hits after the second inning.

Both of those hits came with two outs in the third and nearly led to a fourth run for the Cardinals, if not for an alert play made by .

With Thomas Rinn at second base, Stone drove the ball toward the hole on the right side but Spivey got there in time to keep it in the infield. And after seeing that he had no play at first, Spivey rifled the ball home to catcher , who then got Rinn tagged out by third baseman as he dove back into the bag.

While baserunning mistakes proved costly to the Cardinals in the third, it was their fielding errors in the fifth that led to a 3-3 tie game.

The Wildcats' rally against UIW starter Alex Shaffer started with 's one-out single to left. followed with a double-play ball hit up the middle, but Walls' soft underhand toss dropped in front of his second baseman and everyone was called safe.

UIW was presented immediately with another shot at a twin killing as sent a sharp grounder to Miller at first base, but he couldn't field the ball cleanly, resulting in Conwell and Duarte advancing two bases.

Spivey made it a 3-2 game with a double down the left-field line, and Watson knotted it at 3-3 after coming home on a wild pitch.

Shaffer's second wild pitch of the game, which came in the sixth, helped give ACU its first lead at 4-3. Macy led off the frame with a walk, moved to second on a sacrifice hit, and then scampered to third on the wild pitch before scoring on Duarte's RBI single to left.

ACU's lead didn't quite last a half inning as the Cardinals came back to tie the score at 4-4 in the seventh. Zule drew a four-pitch walk against Taylor to start the inning and scored three batters later on Jonathan Armijo's bases-loaded double play ball vs. Rodriguez.

Rodriguez finished the game with 4.0 innings pitched and one strikeout. After allowing the game-tying run to score in the seventh, he went on to retire the side in order in the eighth and ninth, helping lower his season ERA to 0.79.

The Wildcats return to action next weekend with a four-game set at Texas A&M-Kingsville.

Information provided by ACU athletics department.