By Joel Weckerly, Sports Editor
The baseball team prepared for a six-game Lone Star Conference South Division stretch with a 5-4 loss Tuesday at Division I Dallas Baptist.
The 6-1 Patriots shelled ACU junior starter Cassidy Coffman for five earned runs off nine hits in his five innings of work.
Down 5-3 in the top of the ninth, ACU scored another run to get within one, but DBU got out of the jam and sealed up the win.
“Our hitters battled back and gave us the opportunity to win,” head coach Britt Bonneau said. “We did a much better job hitting and approaching the plate. We had some good swings that just went right to their players.
“[Dallas Baptist was] one of the best teams we’ve faced in a while, and we played them tough,” he said. “As long as I see that kind of progress I’m happy.”
Senior third baseman Matt Callahan blasted a two-run home run while junior first baseman Chris Gaw was 1-for-2 with a solo shot. Junior second baseman Josh Ashton and junior catcher Cody Cure each went 2-for-4 on the day.
The Wildcats (6-7 through Thursday) have had a slow start but are still growing, said Bonneau.
“I still feel like this is a team that’s going to win a lot of ball games this year,” he said.
“We’ve made improvements that haven’t showed up in our win column yet, and we need to keep making those.”
The Wildcats begin their LSC South schedule this weekend with a three-game home series against West Texas A&M. ACU faces the 2-5 Buffaloes in a 2 p.m. doubleheader Friday followed by a nine-inning game at noon Saturday.
Like ACU, WTAMU has struggled through its non-conference schedule. On Tuesday, the Buffs were swept by Wayland Baptist by scores of 6-0 and 11-3.
West Texas A&M’s leading hitter is junior infielder Gilbert Curiel, who is batting .429 with five RBI. Its leading pitcher, junior James Schroeder, is 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA and four strikeouts.
“They’re struggling like we are,” Bonneau said. “But we’re not worried about anybody else besides ourselves because of the struggles we’ve had.
“When it comes to conference, you can throw all the records away. I can’t remember a year where we’ve coasted through. It’s a big weekend for our team, and we have to get some wins early and get on a roll.”