The Wildcats have been off to a hot start against their opponents at the start of this season, as they took two of three against a struggling Texas Southern team last weekend and followed that with a solid one-hit performance from the pitching staff.
ACU entered the series against TSU with a hot hand after sweeping Quinnipiac the previous weekend but were shaking off the rust early after two games earlier that week had been canceled and the first game of the series was moved from Friday night to Saturday morning due to weather.
Although the offense got started in the first with two runs off of a homerun by sophomore transfer Caleb Kyle, the Tigers answered quickly with a three-run second. Junior Dalon Farkas answered with a two-run homer that scored Kyle, giving a ACU a 4-3 lead.
After a Tigers solo shot in the fourth and an RBI single in the fifth, Farkas again came through for the Wildcats with an RBI double to tie the game, 5-5. The Wildcats would score a run in the eighth after a wild pitch and take the first game of the series 6-5. Junior Jonathan Nicholson picked up his second quality start of the season as he went six innings, striking out seven and walking two while giving up five runs (three earned).
The second game of the double-header on Saturday was kinder to the ACU offense early, but after scoring five runs in four innings, the weakness of the Wildcats’ bullpen shone through as they gave up six runs in innings 5-6-7.
The Tigers led 6-5 going into the ninth and tacked on two insurance runs, and although Farkas hit his second home run of the day to bring ACU within two, Tigers closer Seth Oliver picked up the save with two flyouts and a strikeout to end the game.
Senior Caleb Dougherty picked up the loss and moves to 1-1 on the season after giving up two hits and a walk while allowing three earned runs and producing no outs.
The rubber match of the series was kinder to the Wildcats in general as the Tigers could only muster up four hits and one unearned run in an 8-1 trouncing by ACU. There was only one extra-base hit on the day for each team: a double by Tigers right fielder Kyle Van Kuren and a round-tripper from ACU sophomore transfer second basemen Dalton Dunn, his second on the year.
The Wildcats scored one run each in innings 2-3-4, before breaking out and scoring four in the fifth. Texas Southern would answer back with an unearned run, but that would be wiped out after a single by junior Derek Scott who scored another Wildcat run in the eighth.
Senior Drew Hanson started the game well, but left after 1 1/3 innings following concern from the training staff after a wild pitch. Junior transfer Colton Brasher stepped in and picked up the win, going 7 2/3 innings with 11 K’s and only one walk, while not allowing an earned run.
In their first weekday game of the season the Wildcats also showed that they may surprise some people on the mound, as Scott picked up six K’s through four innings in his first start of the season. He was followed by Dougherty, who made up for his previous appearance by throwing three scoreless innings with four strikeouts and picked up the win.
All of the scoring for both teams was done in the third and fourth innings as University of Texas-Permian Basin picked up two runs on a hit and two errors in the third, but the Wildcats answered back with four runs in both the third and fourth innings.
The offense was lead by the trio of Kyle, junior transfer Nolan Ritchie and Dunn, all of whom had two RBI, followed by junior transfer Matt Munoz, who had the only XBH of the game with an RBI triple.
The Wildcats continue to impress as they move to 6-1 on the season and the homestand. The team continues its heavy slate of home games with a three-game series against Mississippi Valley State, who is 0-5.