ACU baseball struggled through the weekend, losing the Southland series to Stephen F. Austin University, two games to one.
The Wildcats moved to 10-31 overall on the season and 8-13 in conference. The Lumberjacks improved to 15-27 overall and 9-14 in conference.
The ‘Cats opened with a tough 7-6 loss Saturday to start the weekend. ACU’s offense jumped out to a six-inning, 5-0 lead.
Freshman pitcher Drew Hanson recorded another solid outing as he gave the Wildcats 6.1 innings of work, allowing only three earned runs. The seventh inning proved to be the comeback inning for the ‘Jacks as they scored four runs to cut the ‘Cats’ lead to one. ACU added one run in the top of eighth to make it a 6-4 game.
The eighth inning cost the ‘Cats the game as former starter junior Aaron Mason and senior Nate Cole gave up three runs to give the ‘Jacks a 7-6 lead. The ACU bats produced nothing in the ninth, giving the ‘Jacks the come-from-behind win.
Sophomore second baseman Aaron Draper led all batters with a 3-for-5 performance at the plate with two runs. Junior catcher Alex Copeland went 2-for-4 from the plate as well
In Game 2, senior Thomas Altimont went the distance with a nine-inning, two-earned-run outing to give ACU a 6-2 win.
The game seemed like it would be another tough loss for the ‘Cats as SFA jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning. ACU’s bats did not record a run for seven innings. But in the top of the eighth, the ACU bats caught fire.
Freshman infielder Marcelle Carter started the run with a leadoff double. Sophomore second baseman drove in Carter with a double of his own to cut the lead to one. Senior outfielder Jordan Forrester advanced Crippen to third with a single. Junior infielder Kyle Carroll then drove in Crippen to tie the game, and senior first baseman Tyler Eager and Copeland drove in the following four runs to give the Wildcats the win.
Head coach Britt Bonneau said Altimont recorded one of the most important wins of the season for the Wildcats.
“Thomas picked up one of his best and toughest wins of the season (Saturday),” Bonneau said. “Our team had just lost a really tough game, and we used three guys out of the bullpen which left us short in the second game. We were going to stick with him for 100 pitches, but he was a bulldog and kept going out there throwing up zeroes.”
Game 3 did not end the series on a good note for the ‘Cats, as they were held to just four hits in a rough 3-0 loss. Junior pitcher Garrett DeMeyere played a solid game, giving up only two earned on 5.2 innings.
ACU baseball returns to the field Friday against conference opponent New Orleans University.