It’s not over until the fat lady sings, but she is definitely warming up in the case of the Wildcat baseball team.
ACU was swept at home by the fourth-place Cameron Aggies over the Easter weekend. The three losses dropped the Wildcats to eighth place in the LSC with just one weekend series remaining against the Southwestern Oklahoma State Bulldogs.
“We have to play better, bottom line.” said senior Cameron Bankston.
The Wildcats fell 9-6 in the opener after allowing eight runs in the first three innings and stranding 13 of their own on-base in the nine-inning game.
“We need guys to step up; we feel like we aren’t getting the effort out of some of the guys,” said Bonneau.
Kevin Justice was rocked early allowing two runs in the top of the first, including one on an error by shortstop Peter Goudeau. Justice allowed four more in the top of the second and two more in theÂ third before being pulled in favor of reliever Kris Carlson.
ACU began a comeback in the fifth inning, scoring three runs in the inning with two outs to close the gap to 9-3. After Cameron Watten and Goudeau were retired, ACU ran off a string of four consecutive runners on base. A throwing error brought home Will Calhoun and Bryce Gerhardt.
The ACU bullpen put in six solid innings allowing just one run in the fifth. The Wildcats couldn’t finish the rally though in the late innings, leaving eight runners stranded in the final four innings.
In the first game of the Saturday doubleheader, the Wildcats couldn’t find a way to break through against Aggie pitcher James Rhodes. Rhodes threw a complete game to move to 6-0 on the season for Cameron. He allowed just seven hits while fanning four Wildcats.
Zach Sneed had a solid outing for the Wildcats going 5 1-3 innings giving up just three runs, two earned, while striking out four.
Calhoun, a senior, came on in relief for Sneed and the Aggies plated four runs in just over an inning’s worth of work to put the game out of reach at 7-0.
In the late game, the Wildcats got a solid performance again from their starter, this time Watten, who went 4 2-3 innings allowing just two runs, but the ACU bullpen unraveled after that.
Brady Rodriguez was brought on to continue the work, but instead allowed five runs on five hits by the Aggies all in the sixth inning when Cameron busted the game wide open. With a 7-2 lead ACU couldn’t hold back the flood gates as the Aggies continued to pour it on in the seventh and eighth innings, run-ruling the Wildcats in the eighth by a final of 14-3.
“It’s hard when you get good starting pitching, and then you go to your bullpen and it blows up in your face,” said Bonneau. “We are frustrated.”
The losses put the Wildcats tournament hopes in serious jeopardy with only one weekend remaining in the season. ACU will need some help with losses by both West Texas A&M and Angelo State along with a sweep of their own against the fifth place team in the LSC.