By Joel Weckerly, Sports Editor
The No. 6 nationally-ranked ACU baseball team stumbled to a 2-2 mark last weekend after splitting doubleheaders with St. Edward’s and St. Mary’s on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
“We definitely went in thinking sweep,” sophomore pitcher Ben Brockman said. “Instead we got beat by a couple good pitchers. It was a little disappointing.”
The Wildcats topped St. Edward’s 9-5 in Game 1 Saturday in a 2-RBI performance by junior third baseman Tyrrell Henley. Junior starter Kerry Don Hall (1-0) was the Wildcats’ winning pit-cher.
In Game 2, ACU fell victim to stellar pitching from Hilltoppers’ junior Derrill Naschke, who had a 3-hit, 6-strikeout performance in a 4-1 St. Edward’s win. ACU sophomore designated hitter Joel Wells scored the Cats’ only run on a wild pitch in the fifth inning.
ACU opened its doubleheader at St. Mary’s in similar fashion, as sophomore right-hander Ben Brockman (1-0) tossed a shutout in a 5-0 ACU victory. Wells smacked a home run in the win to power the Wildcats’ offense.
“It was a good feeling pitching,” Brockman said. “It was one of those days where everything was clicking and the defense played great behind me. Fortunately, we came out on top.”
In the nightcap, ACU rallied back from a 9-2 sixth-inning deficit to eventually lose 9-8 in the bottom of the seventh. In the six-run inning, senior Paul Howey’s sacrifice fly made the score 9-8 with two outs before freshman outfielder Nick Skaff grounded out to end the game.
Junior lefty Cassidy Coffman (0-1) took the loss for ACU. Junior first baseman Chris Gaw led the Cats offensively with a 1-for-3, 2-RBI performance, while junior outfielder Dan Gubbels chipped in with a 2-for-3, 2-run effort.
The Wildcats (2-2) return to action this weekend at home with a 2 p.m. Friday doubleheader against Incarnate Word and another doubleheader against IW Saturday at noon.