By Daniel Johnson, Sports Writer
While most students will be packing and working out travel plans for Spring Break this weekend, the No. 2 ranked ACU baseball team will do all business.
After overcoming the Northeastern State Redmen last weekend, the Wildcats are looking to extend their 17-2 record this weekend on the road as they take on Southeastern Oklahoma State in an LSC crossover four-game series.
The Wildcats, in addition to picking up four more wins and retaining a high national ranking, are planning to work out all their offensive and defensive kinks in the remaining preseason before moving on to conference play in less than a month.
“We’re getting closer to conference play and need to raise our level,” said head coach Britt Bonneau. “These road games will serve as a good test, and we should come out of them more experienced.”
With three out-of-town series, one preseason and the other two conference series on the horizon, this weekend should serve as an assessment of what the Wildcats should expect later on in the season.
Southeastern State, under the direction of coach Mike Metheny, is coming off a two-game sweep of ACU’s LSC South conference opponent Tarleton State. With a overall record of 5-6, the Southeastern Savage Storm should present an adequate test on the plate and field for the Wildcats.
For Bonneau, the keys to success this weekend and the rest of the year are consistency and intensity.
In preparation for conference play, Bonneau will use the upcoming games to test various line-ups and fill spots to find the best line-up. Although the Wildcats’ hitting hasn’t been as explosive as earlier in the season, Bonneau said he is pleased with his team’s persistence and determination to win games. If the Wildcats are able to continue playing with those same qualities, they should find more wins this weekend and the rest of the season.
Bonneau expects his four starting pitchers, Ben Maynard, Chris Woman, Stephen Miller and Bryan Kennedy to find the same consistency they have shown throughout the preseason. Currently, ACU’s starting pitchers have only allowed 34 runs in 99 2/3 innings to reach a combined ERA of 3.07. In addition to the top four, Bonneau is aiming to get more experience for the bullpen and get more throws for senior Brandon Moore.
The Wildcats will follow their out of town series this weekend to take on Southwestern Oklahoma State in town, during the break March 17-18.