By Joshua Parrott, Sports Writer
The ACU baseball team, now 6-1 overall, took another step toward climbing even higher in the polls after sweeping Northeastern State (Okla.) in a three-game series at Crutcher Scott Field Saturday and Sunday.
The Wildcats traveled to San Antonio for a doubleheader against St. Mary’s Tuesday. Results were unavailable at press time.
Coach Britt Bonneau said he expects a lot from his players for the remainder of the season.
“I always think you should put high expectations on your team,” said Bonneau, whose Wildcats are favored to win the 2003 Lone Star Conference South title. “We have high goals every year and I expect a lot out of my program. Not everyone in the nation can do that.”
After opening the season winning three of four games on the road against Incarnate Word, the Wildcats opened home play with a doubleheader sweep of the Redmen on Saturday, winning 5-1 and 3-0. ACU closed out the weekend with a 13-4 victory over Northeastern Sunday afternoon.
Preseason all-America centerfielder Creighton Bryan was a perfect 4 for 4, scoring three runs in the first game Saturday, while senior rightfielder Clay Chesser was 3 for 4 with three RBI.
Freshman right-hander Kristian Bell pitched four shutout innings to pick up his first win this season, with senior left-hander Robert Newland and junior right-hander Justin Whitlock closing out the final three innings in the victory.
Junior left-hander Sam Hall threw a complete-game, two-hit shutout in the second game on Saturday. Hall, a transfer from Temple Junior College, struck out seven and allowed no walks in his Wildcat debut.
An RBI single by senior leftfielder Marcelino Escalante in the bottom of the fourth inning gave the Wildcats the lead in the second game Saturday. Senior catcher Chris Churchill added a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the fifth inning to seal up the win for the Wildcats.
ACU exploded for four runs in the first inning of Sunday’s game and ended up killing the Redmen 13-4 to close the three-game sweep.
Churchill added a two-run single and junior Arnie Gomez hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning.
Senior Brad Massey went 2 for 5 with four RBIs and picked up his second win on the season, pitching four innings while scattering only four hits.
The next opponent for the Wildcats are the Eastern New Mexico Greyhounds. ENMU will face off with ACU in a pair of doubleheaders Friday and Saturday at Crutcher Scott Field.
The Greyhounds are picked to finish third in the LSC South Division behind the Wildcats and Tarleton State. The first pitch Friday is at 2 p.m., while Saturday’s action will start at noon.