Matt Buckmaster continues to dominate and Tarleton State continues to lead the Lone Star Conference.
Buckmaster (7-2) pitched his fifth complete game Friday afternoon and No. 24 Tarleton (26-13-1, 15-6) slammed Abilene Christian (25-17, 13-8) 9-2 to stretch its lead to two games atop the second-place Wildcats in the LSC.
The teams play a doubleheader at 3 p.m. Saturday and conclude the series with a 1 p.m. start on Sunday, all at Cecil Ballow Baseball Complex.
Buckmaster scattered eight hits and struck out six while walking one. He's gone the distance in half his starts including two of his last three. His earned run average fell to 2.30.
The Tarleton lineup did plenty to support Buckmaster, grabbing an early lead with two runs in the bottom of the first, and scoring three each in the sixth and eighth. Right fielder Fola Lajide was 3-for-5 with two runs driven in while Ryan Small was 2-for-5 with 3 RBIs. Rustin Thomas was 3-for-5 and scored twice.
Small singled in two runs in the first, and Lajide made it 3-0 with an RBI single in the third. ACU got on the board in the top of the sixth before the Texans exploded in the bottom of the inning. Evan Robinson drove in a run with an infield single to the shortstop, Nico Moran brought in another score with a bunt single and Noah Ringenberger scored on a passed ball.
Small and Lajide each singled in runs in the eighth before Small closed Tarleton's scoring on an error. ACU scored once in the ninth, but it was too little, too late.