Central Arkansas Christian’s baseball Mustangs split a combined conference 3A/4A District 9 doubleheader with Joe T. Robinson on Monday, giving the Senators their first District 9 loss.


Robinson won the first game, 5-3, with CAC taking the second, 9-5.


“They’re not bad,” Mustang coach Patrick Smith said. “It was good to scratch out a win. It was a little upsetting in that I felt like we should’ve capitalized on a couple of opportunities in the first game. We left a couple of runners on base, and we made a key error early that propelled them and gave them a few runs.


“But overall, we played pretty decent tonight. We just missed some opportunities.”


In the win, Jacob Hale delivered two triples and five RBIs, clearing the bases twice.


CAC will play eStem at Burns Park on Thursday. At press time, the Mets were 0-8.


“Obviously, we just want to get better against them,” Smith said.


eStem will set up a 4A-2 conference and District 9 showdown at Lonoke. The young Jackrabbits, co-champions with CAC of the combined conference last year, opened the week 4-14.


“That’s turned into a pretty good rivalry, and not only in our blended conference but also in our regular conference as well,” Smith said. “This has got some possible seeding implications for the district tournament. It’s big.”


Last week, the Mustangs swept Mayflower in a District 9 doubleheader, 5-3 and 11-6.


“We put two games together,” Smith said. “Our young pitchers pitched really well, and offensively, we just scratched runs here and there and got timely hits, which is what we’ve been looking for.


“We’ve been getting runners on base all year; we’ve just been waiting on guys to follow up with hits, and we’re starting to see more of that.”


In the first game, Hale went 4-for-4 with two RBIs; Hugh Miller added two RBIs. Rhett James got the win and Blake Fairchild the save.


In the second game, a six-run fourth inning settled things. Eli Garrison recorded three hits and three RBIs; Davis Gatling added two RBIs. Miller and Gatling had two hits apiece. Levi Smith picked up the win and Garrison the save.


Also last week, the Mustangs lost to Class 5A Little Rock Christian, 9-0. James and Gatling had CAC’s only hits.


“We didn’t play well,” Smith said. “But give them credit; they hit the ball.


“I think overall, to be such a young team, we are improving. We didn’t have a lot of returning starters, but we’re starting to play well at the right time.”