By Daniel Johnson, Sports Editor
A thunderstorm rained out the last half of the ACU baseball team’s series with Northeastern State this weekend, but it didn’t stop ACU from climbing two spots in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper national poll.
ACU is tied at No. 9 with Franklin Pierce after going 1-1 against Northeastern in Talequah, Okla., on Friday.
The two games scheduledfor Saturday were canceled after a severe thunderstorm blew the tarp off Sarpey Field and left the field flooded.
“We were in a situation where, even if we stayed another day, they felt like it would just be too much to play on,” said head coach Britt Bonneau.
ACU’s only win of the weekend was a 15-5 victory in the second game of the series.
Despite giving up five runs in the first two innings, Bonneau stuck with starting pitcher Matt Davis and waited for him to calm down.
“I just rolled the dice, and once he started putting up zeroes, we left him in,” Bonneau said.
Davis pitched the next two innings without giving up a run, and the Wildcat bullpen didn’t allow another run in the remaining three innings.
Designated hitter Doug Banks led the Wildcats with four RBI and two hits.
One negative consequence of the game was the loss of J.J. Pacheco.
Pacheco dislocated his shoulder in game two, and Bonneau said he will be out for 3-4 weeks.
Shortstop Trey Watten said the loss of Pacheco’s consistent bat and good-base running will hurt the Wildcats.
“That’s a big loss for us; he’s a great lead off hitter,” Watten said.
Pacheco has started in all 14 of the Wildcats games and is tied for second in the LSC for stolen bases with seven.
ACU dropped Friday’s first game after Northeastern broke a 5-5 tie in the fifth with a six-run inning. The Wildcats failed to close the gap in the final two innings of the game.
“We kinda let them hang around,” Bonneau said.
Bonneau said ACU had trouble getting hits early and it came back to haunt the Wildcats in game one.
“That game just got out of hand there late in the game,” Bonneau said.
And playing well in the first game of a series is something Bonneau said his team has struggled with this season.
“We got to figure out how to play game one; that’s the game that’s giving us trouble even at home,” Bonneau said.
Redmen pitcher Matt Averitt pitched all seven innings and only allowed five hits and struck out three ACU batters. The loss was pitcher Chris Wiman’s first this season.