ACU takes on Kansas State in a battle of Wildcats this weekend after playing two non-conference games during the week.
In the first game of non-conference play, ACU took on Dallas Baptist University at Crutcher Scott Field on Tuesday. Both the offense and pitching looked good at the start as, junior transfer Luis Trevino hit a single to score senior Russell Crippen, who led off the game with a double off the left field wall. Freshman Anthony Dominguez then laid down a sacrifice bunt that the catcher overthrew to first, allowing sophomore Derek Scott to score from third.
Senior Brandon Lambright threw two innings, allowing one earned run, which came on a passed ball. However, Lambright was taken out to conserve pitches for this weekend, and Nick Skeffington went just 3.2 innings, giving up 5 runs on 8 hits. Although the Wildcats scored in the fifth on an error and brought home three in the ninth off of a wild pitch and a two-run homer from Crippen, the Wildcats fell to the Patriots 11-7.
In the second non-conference game of the week, Scott took the mound against Baker University, whose mascot is also the Wildcats. ACU struck early as Trevino again drove in Crippen in the first inning, and the offense didn’t stop there. Junior Hillin Warren had a breakout game where he went 2-for-3 with a two RBI triple in the fourth inning, which lead to a run when he scored off of a sacrifice fly from sophomore Mark Pearson.
This prompted the exit of Baker University pitcher Dylan Vilaros after just four innings as he gave up four runs on four hits and walked three. Scott, however, pitched a gem as he went 8 innings, allowing only 5 hits and no runs white striking out 8 and walking two. Freshman Ryan Kotulek came on in the ninth inning and struck out two to close the game out as ACU won 7-0.
The Wildcats now face Kansas State in a three-game weekend series in Manhattan, Kansas. ACU is still struggling in conference, but since breaking its losing streak they have won three out of its last six. K-State has struggled in conference as well, going 4-11 against other Big 12 teams. ACU will have to watch out for Will Brennan, who is hitting .357, and slugging 1B Jake Schudder, who is hitting .290 with 12 home runs and 47 RBI on the year.