The Wildcats lost their first Lone Star Conference series of the season this weekend. The Buffaloes of West Texas A&M snatched three-of-four games from the ‘Cats behind dominant starting pitching.
The Buffaloes held the Wildcats to a under .200 team batting average in the four games in Canyon. The team scored just nine runs while West Texas scored 22.
“Their pitchers threw really well against us,” said head coach Britt Bonneau. “But we’re a better hitting team than that. It was a tough weekend for us.”
ACU drops to 22-15 overall on the season and 10-6 in the LSC. The squad is still sitting in second place in the division behind Tarleton State (12-4 in LSC). WTAMU is 21-14 (8-8).
The ‘Cats lost the first contest 7-3.
Buff starter Dylan James tossed a five-hit complete game following his National Pitcher of the Week honors.
ACU’s starter Jordon Herrera (5-2) was jumped on early and gave up two runs in the first inning and three in the second.
The Wildcats cut the deficit to 5-2 in the sixth when first baseman Tyler Eager grounded out to second base plating infielder Chuck Duarte.
WT got back on the board in the bottom of the sixth with a two-run home run making the score 7-2.
Three of ACU’s five hits were recorded by third baseman Kyle Giusti. He homered to left in the second, singled in the seventh and smashed an RBI single up the middle to bring home Eager in the ninth. Eager tripled with one out in the ninth, which was his lone hit.
Saturday, the team received two good pitching performances from starters Carter Hahn and Aaron Lambrix but split a doubleheader with the Buffaloes.
Hahn (6-2) threw a complete-game five-hit shutout in the first contest and the squad won 3-0. He fanned a career-high 10 batters. It was his second shutout of the season.
The senior from San Antonio was an escape artist in his outing. He got out of a bases-loaded no-out situation in the second inning. After allowing three consecutive bunt singles, Hahn got an out at home plate, a strikeout and a ground-ball out to end the threat.
In the third, he allowed two base runners with one out before striking out the cleanup hitter looking and educing another ground-ball.
“He’s a bulldog,” Bonneau said. “He really controlled the game.”
The ‘Cats scored one run in each of the fourth, sixth and seventh innings. They whacked eight hits and drew three walks against starter Joshua Wyeker and two relievers.
Giusti, Travis Schuetze and Duarte all had two hits apiece.
The night cap was a pitching dual where Lambrix and ACU fell on the short end of a 3-1 defeat.
The Wildcats were limited to three hits and one unearned run thanks to ‘Buffs starter Paul Pulley who tossed 6.2 innings.
Their only run was scored by Kyle Conwell who reached base on an error to start the fifth. He was brought in when Duarte hit a ground ball third.
Sunday, the team lost a 2-1 lead in the fifth after WT sent 13 batters to the plate and scored eight runs on five hits.
“We walked five guys that inning,” Bonneau said. “We can’t do that.”
ACU went on to lose the match-up 11-2. Ty Taylor started the game and was charged with five runs through 4.0 innings in the loss (3-4).
The ‘Cats will be back home this weekend when they host Cameron in a four-game set. The first game will start Friday night at 7 p.m. Saturday the squad plays a doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday, they play at 1 p.m.