Baseball takes on the Texas A&M Aggies in College Station after getting swept in four straight series.
The Wildcats lost all three games against McNeese State last weekend, getting outscored 33-14 and extending their losing streak to 12. Senior Russell Crippen went 0-4 in the first game of the series breaking his 25-game hitting streak, but hit in the second game of the series before going 0-3 with a walk and a run.
The biggest struggle for ACU was pitching- every pitcher who pitched to at least two batters gave up a run except redshirt junior Caleb Dougherty, who pitched in two games and picked up two strikeouts in two innings pitched. The team’s ERA rose to 6.93 while opponents are holding ACU’s offense to a 4.48 ERA. No pitcher on the ACU roster has an ERA lower than 3, with the lowest ERA belonging to junior transfer Case Rolen, who has a 3.38 in 6 starts and 29.1 innings of work.
The pitching will need to step up its game against A&M as the Aggie pitching staff has been holding opposing offenses to 3.74 runs a game and a .237 batting average. The Aggies are also hitting .287 as a team, with three hitters batting over .300 and six players with three or more home runs. The Aggies have 25 home runs on the season while ACU has 20. ACU starting pitching has been significantly better than last season, but they still struggle going late into the game as most starters haven’t thrown five innings in a start.
Although ACU’s offense has been working this season, they’ve been experimenting with new lineups since sophomore Dalon Farkas was injured. The Wildcats had three different lineups in each of the games against McNeese. As a result freshman outfielder Myles Paschall, who has hit well in the games he has started including a 2-3 outing with a walk and an RBI in the final game against McNeese, has emerged on the scene.
Despite being a baseball powerhouse from the 90’s all the way to 2011 under head coach Britt Bonneau, the team has struggled in the last three seasons in the Southland Conference. If this trend continues, one wonders how long it will be before Bonneau is designated for assignment.