The Wildcat baseball team split a four game series this past weekend against Arkansas Tech University at Crutcher Scott Field.
The season opening game on Friday was won by the ‘Cats, 12-10. The Wonder Boys got the best of ACU on Saturday in two seven inning games winning both contests, 6-2 and 17-14. However, the Wildcats were able to salvage a split with a 15-11 victory on Sunday.
In Friday’s game, ACU scored four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to erase a 10-8 deficit. The rally was started by Freshman Tyler Eager, who led off with a double to center. Travis Schuetze then walked before junior infielder/catcher Rodge Macy tied the game by driving in Eager and Schuetze with his second triple of the day.
“I was trying to be more patient,” Macy said. “I actually missed the pitch I wanted to hit, fortunately their pitcher made a mistake late in the count and I was able to take advantage of it.”
Second baseman Chuck Duarte secured the lead for the ‘Cats with a single to left-center that brought in Macy and made the score 11-10. Duarte scored the final run when senior infielder Duncan Blades reached base on a throwing error by the third baseman.
Head coach Britt Bonneau felt the game was a see-saw match back and forth offensively.
“Our hitters did a good job of responding every time the other team scored,” Bonneau said. “They kept fighting.”
“Chuck and Rodge were very consistent this weekend,” Bonneau said. “When the game was on the line they came through with a lot of big hits.”
The star of the night was Eager who, in his college debut, went three for four, scored three runs, and drove in a pair.
Macy had three hits and three RBI, while sophomore pitcher Brady Rodriguez nabbed the win, working two innings of one-hit baseball.
In the first game of the doubleheader on Saturday, ACU was not able to figure out ATU’s Aaron Luchterhand. Luchterhand pitched a seven-inning complete game. He allowed two runs on seven hits and struck out five.
“He threw a lot of strikes and had good off-speed stuff,” Macy said. “We just got off our game.”
The only runs the ‘Cats were able to muster came in the second on an infield single by Ryan Luckie that scored Duarte and in the sixth when Macy scored on an error by ATU shortstop Cesar Abreu.
The ACU offense was able to turn it around in the nightcap. They scored 14 runs on 14 hits but errors and sloppiness were prevalent on both teams. There were a combined 18 walks, seven hit batters, six wild pitches, and four errors.
“When you’re facing a good hitting team, you can’t put guys on base,” Bonneau said. “You have to make them hit to give ourselves a chance.”
The ‘Cats were able to surmount a comeback in the sixth down nine runs (17-8). It came up short though, after the Wildcats scored six runs on six singles, a walk, a sacrifice fly, and an error.
The final game of the series was another offensive outburst by both ACU and ATU.
The Wildcats jumped out to a 7-1 lead after two innings. The Wonder Boys answered with seven runs in the top of the fourth. But ACU immediately responded with three runs in the bottom of the fourth to take an 11-8 lead.
The ‘Cats would eventually score four more runs to secure the win and split the series, 2-2.
“Obviously you don’t ever want to lose three or four at home, so we were looking to get a split of the series that last day,” Bonneau said. “We saw a lot of good things this weekend, but there are some areas we need to work on also.”