Ty Taylor delivered one of the best post-season pitching performances in ACU baseball history Saturday afternoon at Wilder Park, and because of that the Wildcats are still alive in their 19th and final appearance in the Lone Star Conference Post-Season Tournament.
Taylor threw 130 pitches in 8 1/3 innings of work and the Wildcats made an early 5-0 lead stand up as they knocked off Incarnate Word, 6-3, in an elimination game. The Wildcats are now 9-1 all-time in Day 2 elimination games in the LSC Baseball Post-Season Tournament.
The Wildcats (29-23 overall) will play another elimination game at 3:30 p.m. Sunday against Angelo State, and the game can be heard on KSLI 1280 AM. The Rams knocked off regular-season champion Tarleton State, 4-0, in Saturday afternoon's second game.
Taylor (6-4 on the season) scattered seven hits and gave up just three runs (two earned) and worked out of some trouble in the middle innings before finishing with a dominating flourish.
ACU jumped on Incarnate Word starting pitcher Dylan Boss for six runs through three innings and the Wildcats had leads of 5-0 and 6-2 through those three innings.
Incarnate Word, though, got another run in the fourth and had a chance to get more, but Taylor got two straight fielder's choice groundouts to end the inning. In the fifth, Taylor retired the leadoff man, but then gave up a single to leadoff hitter Blake Woosley and a walk to Jason Stone to bring up Derric Walls.
Walls -- who led the league in hits with 66 -- didn't start for disciplinary reasons, and he quickly got ahead in the count at 2-0. But Taylor battled back to even up the count at 2-2 before Walls popped out to shortstop Chuck Duarte for the second out. Cleanup hitter Jordan Littlefield then flew out to right field to end the inning and the threat.
That was really the last time the Cardinals threatened in the game as Taylor shut them down over the last four innings. He retired nine straight from the end of the sixth through the first out in the ninth and finished by setting down 12 of the last 14 he faced.
Leading 6-3, Taylor went back to the mound for the top of the ninth got Lukas Miller go ground out to second baseman Seth Spivey before he hit catcher Jonathan Armijo with the first pitch to the UIW catcher. That was all for Taylor, who was lifted by head coach Britt Bonneau in favor of Carter Hahn.
Hahn needed just 10 pitches to get the final two outs as he earned his second save by getting Alex Pena to fly out to left fielder Kyle Conwell and Thomas Rinn to ground out to Spivey for the final out of the game.
ACU jumped on Boss with two runs in the first as Schuetze scored from second on an infield single by Kyle Giusti, and Chuck Duarte drove in Giusti with a flare single into right field.
ACU tacked on three more in the second as Ryan Luckie singled and later scored on an error to make it 3-0. Tyler Eager and Duarte each added RBI singles to make it 5-0.
UIW answered with two runs in the third to make it 5-2 before ACU got its final run of the game in the third when Spivey drove in Luckie with a single to center field.
Information provided by ACU athletics department.