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Crippen shines in debut

By Collin Wieder
Posted on April 29, 2014 | Showcase,Sports | Comments Off on Crippen shines in debut
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Gunnar Buhner squares up a ball and hits a line drive earlier this season at Crutcher Scott Field. The Wildcats took one game in a three-game set against the HBU Huskies last weekend, putting their record at 15-25 for the year. (Optimist photo by Jarred Schuetze)

The  baseball team fell to 15-25 on the season and 5-10 in the Southland as it dropped two out of three to Houston Baptist University over the weekend.

HBU improved to .500 on the season with a 20-20 overall record and 9-12 in conference.

ACU dropped the series, but may have found another starting pitcher in freshman outfielder, Russell Crippen, in the team’s only win of the weekend. Crippen went five innings, only allowing one earned run and two walks in his first career start. Nick Palacios would pick up the win as he pitched a scoreless sixth. The Wildcats would hold the Huskies to two runs to win 4-2.

The start came as a surprise to the rotation as Crippen entered the weekend with 20 starts at first base, but only one appearance as a pitcher. An injury to starter Nate Cole forced the Wildcats to search for another starter and Crippen filled the hole.

Head coach Britt Bonneau thought Crippen pitched well despite not being on the mound much this season.

“Well, anytime you can have a starter give you five innings, it’s great,” Bonneau said. “There is a lot of unknown in his start but he got in there and battled and threw strikes.”

The offense failed to score on four singles the following game on Saturday. ACU’s pitching staff allowed only three runs from starter Brady Rodriguez. Nick Palacios also appeared a second time for the weekend, sitting down all four batters he faced.

ACU’s final game, on Sunday, saw the Huskies dish out 13 hits on the Wildcats’ bullpen to hand the Wildcats a series-deciding, 6-3 loss. Sophomore starting pitcher Garrett Demeyere gave up three earned runs in 4.1 innings of work. Nick Palacios came on for his third appearance of the weekend, but lasted only 15 pitches as he gave up three earned runs in one inning.

ACU’s offense did not have a great weekend, but senior infielder Seth Spivey picked up the slack as he reclaimed the top spot on the Southland’s batting average with .379. Spivey went 6-for-13 with four runs batted in and two runs on the weekend.

“I just tried to make everything as simple as possible,” Spivey said. “Just keep working hard up the middle and it seems to be working so far.”

Bonneau thought the weekend had a lot of positives for the pitching staff despite the two losses.

“I thought that their two guys threw well against us,” Bonneau said. “They were in there throwing strikes and off speeds correctly. I still felt like we did a good job of pitching to them. We were just never in a position to score runs.”

avatar Posted by Collin Wieder on Apr 29th, 2014 and filed under Showcase, Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.  - This post has been viewed 12034 times.

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