The baseball team remained hot this past weekend, splitting the final two games of a three-game series against No. 21 Southern Arkansas University.
The Wildcats took two out of three from the Muleriders and achieved its second series win of the season. The two teams were scheduled to play a double-header on Saturday however, mother nature intervened and the games were rained out.
The series resumed on Sunday and the ‘Cats took the first game 11-9, and SAU took the final game 6-5.
Second baseman Chuck Duarte said the weather had no affect on the series.
“When it comes to baseball, the weather is unpredictable,” Duarte said. “I don’t think it factored into our performance.”
ACU (8-3) has won seven of its last eight games.
The SAU falls 5-4 on the year after the weekend.
Head coach Britt Bonneau said this weekend was a great series for the team.
“To come out with two out of three, shows you this team keeps improving every weekend,” Bonneau said. “It was a good measuring block for us to see where we are…Southern Arkansas found a lot of our weaknesses.”
“We were disappointed we didn’t take three out of three but, as a whole, we were happy to take two games from a ranked team,” Duarte said.
The Wildcats were down two different times in the first game on Sunday. Behind 3-2 in the third, ACU responded with three runs in each of the third, fourth and fifth innings.
Senior infielder Duncan Blades had a clutch double in the fourth that pushed the ‘Cats to an 8-7 lead. The bases-clearing hit scored outfielder Tyler Eager, Kyle Conwell and catcher/infielder Rodge Macy.
In the fifth, Macy smacked a two-run single to right. Macy and Conwell combined for six runs and four RBI.
Junior closer Josh Stone retired the side in order in the seventh to insure his second save of the season. Middle reliever Jordan Herrera (2-1) got the win. He pitched 1.2 innings and struck out four.
Southern Arkansas overcame an early Wildcat lead in the second game of the double-header.
ACU was ahead 5-1 through the first three innings, but SAU mounted a comeback, scoring one run in all but four innings.
Ryan Dardenne was a tough out for ACU. He went 4 for 5 and scored the game-tying and go-ahead runs in the eighth and 10th.
Dardenne whacked a double to left-center off of Stone in the 10th. He advanced to third on a bunt, then came home on a sacrifice fly to center. Eager’s attempt to throw out Dardenne fell short as catcher Emmett Niland couldn’t apply the tag in time.
In the ‘Cats half of the 10th, the team put two runners on with two outs against closer Justin Thomas, however Eager was thrown out trying to advance to third on a wild pitch.
James Baune (1-0) was credited with the win. His only earned runs came in the first when the Wildcats scored two runs on two hits. The other scores were caused by errors.
Baune finished with 9.0 innings pitched and 122 pitches.
“He (Baune) came in and threw strikes,” Bonneau said. “We got to him early because they made some errors and we countered with some hits.”
ACU returns to Crutcher Scott Field on Friday for a four-game series versus East Central University Tigers (8-5). The opening game begins at 6:05 p.m. A double-header will be played on Saturday starting at 2:05 p.m. The final game is set for Sunday at 1:35 p.m.