The Abilene Christian University baseball team is 6-9 in the Southland Conference as it prepares to host Sam Houston State University this weekend at Crutcher Scott Field. That’s the same Bearkat squad that traveled to Austin earlier this week and shutout The University of Texas, 5-0.
But don’t let the Wildcats’ overall record (8-26) fool you. If they keep slinging, they will land a stone on the forehead of one of the Goliaths on its schedule before long.
ACU has played Top 20 opponents four times this season, losing all four by one run late in games with the Big 12 and Southeastern conference powerhouses:
- April 15 vs. No. 1-ranked Texas A&M University in College Station: Lost 3-2 when the Aggies (34-3) of the SEC scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the seventh inning in Blue Bell Park. ACU pitchers struck out A&M hitters 11 times in the game.
- April 14 vs. No. 19th-ranked Texas Tech University in Abilene: ACU loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth inning but couldn’t answer the Red Raiders’ go-ahead run in the top of the ninth in Tech’s first baseball game at ACU since 1976.
- April 6 vs. No. 2-ranked Texas Christian University in Abilene: Lost 4-3 when the defending Big 12 champion Horned Frogs scored the go-ahead run in the seventh inning and then used its powerful bullpen to seal the win at Crutcher Scott Field.
- March 3 vs. No. 5-ranked Texas Tech in Lubbock: Lost 6-5 in the bottom of the 16th inning after taking a 5-4 lead in the top of the frame. The Wildcat bullpen of Nate Cole, Nick Palacios, Austin Lambright, Ladgie Zotkya, Kevin Sheets and Brandon Lambright combined to pitch 10 innings of three-hit shutout baseball with 10 strikeouts.
The lineup of formidable opponents continues when head coach Britt Bonneau’s team plays Texas Tech again on April 21 (in Midland); TCU in Fort Worth on May 12; No. 5-ranked Arizona State University on May 19 in Tempe; and University of Arizona on May 21-22 in Tucson. The season ends in Tucson with a game against the University of Hawaii on May 23.