The Wildcats dropped two of three games to West Texas A&M University this weekend in Canyon. The Wildcats lost the first two games of the series before rallying in the ninth inning to win the last game, avoiding a sweep.
“We didn’t pitch very well obviously; overall, we couldn’t match their hitting either,” said Head Coach Britt Bonneau. “They were very comfortable hitting against us, and when that happens, you know they are going to score a lot of runs.”
The Buffaloes started strongly in the first game, scoring six runs in the first inning. Starter Brady Rodriguez never settled into the game, as he only went two innings and gave up eight runs to the Buffaloes. WT would run away with the first game, defeating the Wildcats 11-1.
ACU bats would come alive again Saturday, but even scoring 8 runs was not enough in the second game of the series. West Texas A&M would put up 13 runs on its way to a 13-8 victory.
In the final game, ACU mounted a fierce rally in order to salvage a game in the series. The Wildcats fell 7-0 through the first three innings in the final game. Sky Valenzuela had an RBI double score for the Wildcats’ first run in the fifth inning. Will Calhoun later added a two-run double that made it a 7-3 game. ACU would add single runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings to make the score 8-6 going into the ninth. ACU then scored four runs in the ninth, including a Cameron Bankston single that scored two runs. WT would hit a solo homerun in the bottom of the ninth to make things interesting, but ACU held on, winning the game 10-9.
“Fortunately, in the third game, they got up on us big and then went to sleep,” Bonneau said. “We were able to come back, and now, we are only one game back instead of three games. We are struggling with injuries and finding guys who can give more than six outs at a time.”
ACU has been plagued with injuries this season, losing some of its tops players. Aaron Lambrix was lost at the beginning of the season, and Aaron Oliver now will miss the rest of the season with an undisclosed injury as well.
“Losing Aaron Oliver was the last nail in the coffin for us when it comes to injuries,” Bonneau said. “When you don’t have your key players, it is hard for guys that are coming off the bench to lead a team. We are just dealing with what we have, and it has been difficult to get through. But we are here, and we need to win 4 of our last 6 to have a chance to make the tournament. And to do that, we need to play better ball.
ACU currently sits in seventh place in the LSC standings, with two conference series to go. ACU trails West Texas A&M by one game in the standings for the sixth and final spot in the Lone Star Conference tournament. The Wildcats played the University of Texas of the Permian Basin on Tuesday afternoon, but the results arrived too late for publication. ACU will host Cameron University this weekend at Crutcher Scott Field.