Donahue's 5 RBI night leads ACU past Mississippi Valley State on Tuesday
Junior first baseman Riley Donahue drove in five runs and was one of three Wildcats with three hits Tuesday night in Abilene Christian's 15-6 win over Mississippi Valley State at Crutcher Scott Field.
Tonight's victory also provided the Wildcats with their first 20-win season as a D1 school. ACU entered this level of collegiate athletics in 2014 but never won more than 18 games in a single campaign. The Wildcats (20-26) have eight games left on their schedule, starting with Wednesday night's rematch vs. the Delta Devils (11-32) and need to win them all to finish above .500.
Tuesday, ACU had matters well in hand by the end of the fourth inning leading 7-1. The Wildcats scored five runs with two outs in the third and tacked on two additional runs in the fourth on RBI from Dalon Farkas and Donahue, who tied the team's single-game season RBI record first held by junior center fielder Matthew Muñoz.
Donahue's double to right-center field in the third inning plated both Muñoz and Zach Smith to give ACU a 2-1 lead, and after Dalton Dunn reached on an error, Derek Scott singled through the left side and Seth Watts zipped a two-run triple down the third-base line.
ACU posted a pair of four-run innings in the sixth and eighth during which Donahue contributed a sacrifice fly to center field and a RBI single up the middle to finish 3-for-5. Watts and Smith also collected three hits each, while Scott went 2-for-2 with two runs, two walks and a RBI.
In fact, all nine Wildcat starters recorded at least one base hit as ACU finished with 16 knocks.
Brennan Lewis made his first start of the season for ACU and tossed 53 pitches over 4.0 innings to earn the victory. He allowed just one run on four hits and a walk, but struck out three, including Jeremiah Barr who finished a triple shy of the cycle.
Brock Barger pitched the fifth and sixth frames, striking out two, and Logan Patterson followed with two solid innings of relief. Patterson was one out away from a scoreless eighth, but an infield error soon was followed by a pair of wild pitches and a RBI single from Barr. Catcher Joshua Grubaugh then slapped a double into the left-center gap but two good throws from Muñoz (CF) and Smith (SS) resulted in a put out at the plate as catcher Matthew Nerz laid the tag on Barr.
David Ruot tossed 38 pitches in the ninth as he started with a hit by pitch, two walks and an infield single back to the mound. He soon bounced back by striking out Willie Johnson and Wendell Rieves, and ended the game with a ground ball to second base.
After Wednesday's re-match with Mississippi Valley, ACU visits the Demons of Northwestern State this weekend for a three-game Southland Conference series and will then play at UTSA on May 15 before coming home for its regular-season series finale vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (May 17-19).