The Angelina College Roadrunners saw their post-season hopes take a series of serious blows on Wednesday, with AC dropping a pair of games to Northeast Texas College at Roadrunner Complex in Lufkin.
NTCC pounded out four homers and capitalized on a costly error to take Game 1 13-9; then rode the right arm of heralded hurler Zach Cates to a 5-1 win in the nightcap.
The losses dropped AC to 10-12 in Region XIV East Zone play with just six games remaining in the regular season. NTCC jumped to 13-9 in league play.
In the opener, Uncle Mo turned a quick 180 on the Roadrunners, who built a 7-2 lead over the first three innings thanks to production from the top three spots in the lineup: Greg Garcia, Grant Clyde and Ryan Gunhouse combined four six runs on five doubles in the first two frames.
But in the top of the fifth, an infield error on a potential inning-ending double play ball opened the gates for five Eagle runs. Northeast Texas would duplicate those five runs in the sixth, hitting for the cycle in the frame and coasting to a 13-9 win behind four home runs in the game, including a three-run shot from Andrew Ray.
Todd Wallace blasted a two-run shot in the sixth for the Roadrunners, giving him three RBI for the game. Ryan Gunhouse finished with two RBI on a pair of doubles and a single, and Grant Clyde drove in two runs with a pair of doubles. Greg Garcia added a hustle double and a single, scoring twice and driving in a run for AC.
Game 2 saw starters John Tatum of AC and the Eagles' Cates waging a strikeout battle, with Cates fanning 10 in 6 1/3 innings of work and Tatum whiffing eight in the same span. The big difference was that Tatum allowed one big blow: A three-run homer by NTCC's Cullen Wacker in the third inning to put the Eagles up 3-0. Northeast would tack on a run in the seventh on an RBI double from Crumpton, and a run in the eighth on back-to-back singles from Ray Johnson and Justin Creel followed by an AC throwing error.
The Roadrunners managed their lone run in the seventh, with Garcia driving in Kyle Crenshaw with a single. The inning ended in frustration, however, on a disputed call at first leading to a rally-killing double play.
AC will travel to Jacksonville on Saturday to take on Lon Morris. Game time for the opener is 1 p.m.
Lady Roadrunners Sweep Lamar-Port Arthur
AC's Lady Roadrunners made their last road trip of the season a good one, sweeping Lamar-Port Arthur 1-0 and 3-1 Wednesday in Port Arthur.
The Lady ‘Runners will close out the regular season with home stands against Trinity Valley on Friday and against San Jacinto on Saturday.
AC will host the Region XIV tournament beginning May 6th.