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Wildcats playing NCAA’s top baseball teams

Sophomore first baseman Russell Crippen
Sophomore first baseman Russell Crippen
Wildcat fans who may still be in denial that Abilene Christian University is playing major NCAA Division I competition need to head to Crutcher Scott Field in April.
Kudos to head baseball coach Britt Bonneau, whose team plays in the historically strong Southland Conference, for not shying away from challenging the best competition in the Southwest.
Junior catcher Alex Copeland
Junior catcher Alex Copeland
Scheduling such heavyweights can be hard on the won-loss record but is part of the process of seasoning Bonneau’s team for future success, especially when ACU is surrounded geographically with premier programs across Texas, Oklahoma and Arizona.
This week’s current No. 4-ranked team, TCU, comes to Scott Field on April 6. The Horned Frogs of the Big 12 Conference have been ranked as high as No. 1 this season and have been to the College World Series twice in the last five years – 2010 and 2014. TCU won 48 games last year and the Big 12 title.
On April 14, Texas Tech University’s baseball team makes its first appearance on ACU’s campus since 1995. The Wildcats gave the Red Raiders, who played in the 2014 College World Series, all they wanted on March 3 when the two teams battled for 16 innings in Lubbock before ACU fell, 6-5. Tech was ranked No. 5 in the nation at the time.
Head coach Britt Bonneau and sophomore _______
Head coach Britt Bonneau and junior outfielder Heath Beasley
Earlier this week, ACU hosted No. 23 Dallas Baptist University at Scott Field. DBU is a member of the Missouri Valley Conference and a perennial power in college baseball with appearances in the NCAA regional tournament four of the past seven years. In the game Monday night, ACU matched the Patriots’ firepower after the first inning but couldn’t overcome an early 6-0 deficit and lost, 11-6.
The Wildcats have rematches with Texas Tech (April 21 in Midland) and TCU (April 22 and May 12 in Fort Worth), and play No. 1 Texas A&M University in College Station on April 15.
Later this season ACU plays at No. 11 Arizona State University (May 19 in Tempe) and No. 20 University of Arizona (May 21-22 in Tucson).
Underdogs frequently pull shockers in topsy-turvy collegiate baseball. ACU upset Arizona – the 2012 national champion and a power in the Pac 12 Conference – on their home field late last spring in Tucson.
Follow the Wildcats’ 2015 schedule here and make plans to attend the next game in Abilene or on the road this season.