The Wildcats, after taking two of three from Tarleton State over the weekend, were throttled by the St. Edwards University Hilltoppers, 24-11, on Tuesday night before entering a series against Northeastern State University this weekend.
Pitching again proved to be the Wildcats undoing, the Hilltoppers rang up the ACU staff for 24 runs on just 25 hits.
“We very clearly didn’t pitch well, that is a given,” said Head Coach Britt Bonneau. “But at the same time, we are trying to keep our main starters and our main relievers healthy for the weekend.”
After holding St. Edwards to no runs and no hits in the first inning, the Wildcats allowed the floodgates to open in the second. The Hilltoppers scored six runs on five hits in the inning off starter Brady Rodriguez, who was tagged with his first loss of the season.
ACU answered with three runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning. But in the top of the third, St. Edwards put the game out of reach. With one runner on base, Will McCaleb blasted a homer to left field to put the Hilltoppers up 8-3. St. Edwards managed seven hits and seven runs in the inning while hitting for the cycle as a team in the third inning alone.
The Wildcats allowed six runs in the eighth, and the game was ended at the end of the inning, with the Hilltoppers up 13 runs.
ACU heads into its weekend series having lost six of its last eight games and four of its last six conference match ups. The Wildcats have a three-game series match up against the bottom dwelling Northeastern State University Riverhawks, who are just 3-20 on the season and 2-16 in the Lone Star Conference.
“At this point, with where we are, and if we want to even think about a Lone Star Conference Tournament, we have to win on weekends,” said Bonneau.
Chances look good for the Wildcats, who will face the conference’s worst pitching staff and third worst batting lineup.
The Riverhawks have been unable to hold down lineups this season, giving up an average of better than seven and a half runs per game.
“We are going to get there,” said senior outfielder Cameron Bankston. “We did some good things over the weekend, and we just have to focus every game.”
The Wildcats and Riverhawks are slated for three games this weekend. The first game will be Friday, with a first pitch around 7:05 p.m. The final two games take place on Saturday at 2:05 and 3:35 p.m.