By Joshua Parrott, Sports Writer
The ACU baseball team had an eventful weekend.
Coach Britt Bonneau’s squad earned its highest-ever national ranking after sweeping Lone Star Conference South rival Eastern New Mexico in a three-game series Friday and Saturday at Crutcher Scott Field to open conference play.
The Wildcats, now 10-2 overall and 3-0 in LSC South play, jumped two spots from No. 5 to No. 3 in the most recent Collegiate Baseball magazine NCAA Division II Poll. ACU won Friday’s first game 5-3, then stole two games away from ENM Friday and Saturday, 7-6 and 12-6, respectively.
Bonneau made some line-up changes before the series, replacing senior second baseman Luis Munoz with senior Beau Bimson and moving senior Marcelino Escalante from left field to designated hitter. He placed junior Brian Johnson in the vacant outfield spot.
Bonneau inserted the fleet-footed Johnson and Bimson in the lineup with a purpose.
“We went with guys that can run a little better,” said Bonn-eau, who recently recorded his 250th career coaching victory. “We felt like the guys we sat down aren’t in the groove right now.”
Bimson proved to be a factor in the series against ENMU, scoring a run early in the first game against the Greyhounds and later hitting a two-run home run in ACU’s blowout win in the final game of the series.
Bonneau said Bimson is delivering on his potential.
“He’s playing his type of game,” Bonneau said. “He’s bunting and using his speed. When he does that, he’s a very effective player. Hopefully, he’ll continue to do those things.”
Bimson said he steered away from his strengths last season, his first at the Division II level, and worked hard during the off-season to warrant an opportunity to contribute more as a senior. He said Coach Bonneau wanted him to stop trying to pull the ball all the time.
“I went through a lot of struggles last season trying to get playing time,” Bimson said. “A couple of months ago I found out what type of hitter I was. Me and [senior all-America center fielder] Creighton [Bryan] are best at moving guys over and getting on base. It’s a matter of me playing my game and sticking to that. I just want the team to win.”
The Wildcats head to Amarillo this weekend to take on West Texas A&M in a three-game series. Bonneau said the Buffaloes have a big left-handed pitcher [senior Will Baldwin] and a duo of right-handed pitchers who throw good off-speed pitches.