East Central University’s baseball squad continued to struggle Monday as it dropped both ends of a Lone Star Conference doubleheader, 9-1 and 13-9, to the No. 26 ranked Cameron Aggies at Tiger Field.
The Tigers managed just four hits in the opener and compiled 11 in the nightcap, but surrendered eight-first inning runs, despite making a nice comeback later in the game.
Cameron swept all four games in the series to improve to 28-9 overall and 20-8 in the LSC. Meanwhile, ECU suffered its 10th straight loss in falling to 11-25 and 10-18.
Cameron 13, ECU 9 (Game 2)
Ryan Estes went 3-for-5 with a solo-homer, run-scoring single and RBI double to finish with three runs batted in for the contest while Zach Hammons was 3-for-3 with a double and two walks while scoring three times to fuel the Tiger offense in a losing cause.
Jared Owen went 2-for-4 with a pair a pair of singles, one of which drove in a run, and Shawn Langford hit his first homer of the year for ECU.
But the Aggies established control of the game, scoring eight runs off six hits in the first inning alone off starter and loser Wesley Hager (1-4), who lasted just 1/3 of an inning. The Tigers used five pitchers in the game.
Cameron starter Logan Grimes got the win after working the first five innings while James Maxwell came on in relief and nailed down his second save of the day and third of the season. Grimes (6-0) allowed just four earned runs (six total) off eight hits with three walks and three strikeouts.
Five Cameron players had two hits each as Nate Arevalo hit his ninth homer of the season while Chris Caves blasted his sixth.
Estes’ homer to left-center, his third of the season, led off the bottom of the second and one out later, Langford went deep to cut the deficit to 8-2.
The Tigers pulled within 8-5 with three runs in the third, two of which were unearned. Kyle McCormick had a sacrifice fly in the inning while the other two scores came directly off errors.
But the Aggies had enough offense to keep ECU at bay. Arevalo’s two-run homer pushed the Cameron advantage to 10-5 in the fourth. Though Estes’ RBI single scored Hammons, who led off the fifth with a double, to make it 10-6, Caves connected for a one-out solo-homer in the sixth for an 11-6 Aggie advantage.
The Tigers even pulled within 11-9 with three runs in the seventh, highlighted by Owen’s run-scoring single and Estes’ RBI double.
However, Cameron tacked on a pair of unearned runs in the eighth.
Cameron 9, ECU 1 (Game 1)
The Aggies, leading 1-0, broke the game open with a six-run, four-hit fourth inning to take control.
Cameron left-hander Justin Kirkpatrick (2-5) pitched six complete innings for the win as he allowed the one unearned run off three hits with four walks and eight strikeouts. Maxwell earned the save while working the last three innings and allowing only one hit and striking out three.
Tiger starter Andy Pendleton (1-3) was tagged with the loss after going 3.1 innings. Randell Shrouder also worked 3.1 innings in relief and Justin Watley threw 2.1 frames to finish up the game.
Estes scored the only Tiger run of the game as he led off with a walk and advanced to second on Clint Bowker’s single, before two passed balls enabled him to score.
Chase Elder led Cameron’s 13-hit attack by going 3-for-5 and scoring twice. Teammate Josh Barnett was 2-for-5 with a three-run double in the third.
ECU continues a busy stretch of games Tuesday as it hosts fifth-ranked Southern Arkansas in a 1 p.m. non-conference doubleheader. The Tigers then return to conference play on Friday and Saturday with a four-game weekend series at Northeastern State.