ACU’s baseball team has had a tough opening weekend so far, dropping the first two games against the University of Nevada.
“We’ve learned a lot through just our first two games, and it’s great experience for all the guys on the team,” said Britt Bonneau, head coach. “It’s not easy getting beat like this coming out of the gate, but it’s going to help us down the stretch against others.”
The Wildcats struggled in their first game Friday as they lost decidedly 12-3. Starting pitcher Thomas Altimont’s first game ended after just five innings as he gave up five earned runs on 10 hits.
ACU’s bats came up with seven hits, leaving seven on base, but did not score until the fourth inning. Brayden Gomez, freshman infielder from Fair Oaks, California, led the offense as he went 3-for-4 at the plate. Alex Copeland, junior catcher from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, added an RBI in the fourth inning to get ACU on the board, making it 6-1 Nevada.
Saturday’s game started off in a similar fashion, as the offense did not score until the sixth inning and the pitching faltered early. The Wildcats did make it interesting, however, in the late going, as ACU put together a last effort rally in the bottom of the ninth. ACU came up with four runs on six hits in the inning, but ultimately fell 9-6 to the Wolf Pack.
“I feel like by making it close at the end, it changed the momentum going into the final game of the series,” Bonneau said. “What you do when a team comes out and punches you in the mouth says a lot about your team and can change how the next game is played.”
ACU’s offense put together a great offensive game with 12 hits, but it turned into only six runs as the ‘Cats stranded seven again. Copeland went 3-for-3 in his second game as a Wildcat with two doubles and a run batted in. Tyler Eager, senior from Fort Worth, and Heath Beasley, junior from McKinney, hit 2-5 each on the day, combining for two RBIs and a double.
Aaron Mason, transfer junior starting pitcher from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, had a rough 1.1 innings pitched as he gave up 10 hits and nine earned runs. Bonneau turned to three other relief pitchers, and they only gave up one earned run in the remaining 7.2 innings.
“We have to teach these kids that it’s a war every inning of every game,” Bonneau said. “You have to crave it, you have to want to get out in front every inning and never let up.”
The Wildcats return to the mound at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Crutch to finish up their series against the Nevada Wolf Pack.