LAWTON -- The West Texas A&M baseball team dropped the opening game of a three game series at Cameron Friday afternoon. With the 8-3 loss, the Buffs fell to 32-16 overall and 20-13 in Lone Star Conference play. With the loss, Texas A&M-Kingsville earned the outright LSC regular season title and hosting duties for next week’s Lone Star Conference Baseball Championship.
The Buffs jumped on the board in the first courtesy of a leadoff single and a Cameron miscue put runners at first and third with nobody out. Following a walk to load the bases, senior David Hebert grounded out to first, plating Redfearn for a 1-0 lead. Junior Jacob Caples began the top of the second with a home run to left field for a 2-0 Buff lead. It was Caples’ third round-tripper of the season.
The Aggies (18-27, 12-20 LSC) returned the favor in the bottom of the second as Tobin Mateychick hit a solo home run to right field with one out for a 2-1 score. WT senior Dylan James came back with a strikeout, his second of the inning and third of the game. A hit batsman extended the inning two out as the Aggies made the Buffs pay with a RBI triple to right by Cole Williams for a 2-2 score. James got out of the jam stranding a runner at third with a groundout to end the frame.
The Buffs had a good chance in the fourth with a leadoff single and a walk, followed by the second Aggie miscue loading the bases with one out. A double play ended the threat leaving two stranded. Cameron responded in the bottom of the fourth with a single, sacrifice bunt and a fly out for a runner at third with two away. James got out of the jam again with a groundout preserving the tie game.
Cameron plated three runs in the bottom of the sixth as Codey McElroy walked to begin the frame, a single followed and Mateychick reached on an error as two runs for a 4-2 lead. Jordan Climpson singled down the right field for a RBI and a 5-2 lead. A strikeout wild pitch loaded the bases with two out in the inning. A fielder’s choice ended the inning as no further damage was done, keeping the Buffs in striking distance.
Senior Sam Ouellet relieved James (8-3) heading into the bottom of the seventh as James finished the game going six innings, allowing five runs with just two earned, two walks and seven strikeouts for 107 for the season.
A two out walk to Matychick extended the seventh inning for the Aggies, followed by a single through the left side from Cody Knight moving Mateychick to third. Climpson singled home another run for a 6-2 lead increasing the run to six unanswered. Cameron added another run on a single up the middle for a 7-2 lead.
A one out double by junior Aaron Blair and a single by Hebert, along with the third Cameron miscue cut the deficit to 7-3 and ended the 7-0 run by the Aggies in the top of the eighth. In the bottom of the frame, a one out single by Kas Sanders and a RBI double from McElroy swelled the lead to 8-3.
The Buffs went down in order in the ninth. WT finished the game with three runs on eight hits with one error, while CU tallied eight runs on 12 hits with three errors.
Redfearn went 2 for 5 with a run scored, while Hebert was 2 for 4 with a RBI and Caples was 1 for 3 with a solo home run.
Cameron was led by a 3 for 4 performance from Cole Williams with two RBI. Mateychick went 2 for 3 with a RBI and Climpson was 2 for 3 with a run scored and two RBI. Brian Schwabe (4-4) earned the win, going eight innings, allowing eight hits, three runs with two earned, two walks and six strikeouts.
The teams will conclude the three game set tomorrow with a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. Cameron takes a 3-2 lead in the season series. A doubleheader sweep of the Aggies tomorrow would give the Buffs the season sweep of every team in the conference.