By Daniel Johnson, Sports Editor
Four outstanding performances by ACU’s four starting pitchers made the postseason a sure thing for the nation’s No. 13 team this weekend.
Pitchers Chris Wiman, Trey Watten, Brian Kennedy and Matt Davis all won their games against Eastern New Mexico this weekend to help the Wildcats reclaim first place in the Lone Star Conference South Division and secure ACU’s spot in the LSC postseason tournament.
“We got the four wins like we needed to,” Kennedy said.
ACU’s starting four dominated the LSC’s third-best scoring lineup, limiting the Greyhounds to a combined .222 batting average, nine runs and only 24 hits, while combining for a staggering 1.41 ERA.
“We just figured them out,” Kennedy said. “As a staff we threw strikes and made them put the ball into play, and we just let our defense go to work.”
First-place ACU beat ENMU 6-3, 4-2, 6-1 and 9-3 to move to 13-3 in LSC South play and 38-11 overall, which is one game in front of second place Angelo State, who is 12-4.
“We’re in a good position, but we still need to take care of business,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy took care of business posting one of his best outings this season in game three of the series.
The Saturday starter pitched the entire nine-innings of game three, only allowing one run and four hits while striking out four Greyhound batters. Kennedy is now 8-2 with a 4.80 ERA in 12 appearances.
Kennedy said he was excited about getting his eighth win of the season, which is one more than the 7-3 record he finished the 2006 season with.
Also picking up his eighth win was Watten.
Watten extended his undefeated record to 8-0 after a six-inning outing Friday in game two. Watten only allowed two runs and four hits while striking out four ENMU batters. The ultimate utility player – Watten pitches, starts at first and bats a solid .371 – also picked up three RBI on five hits over the weekend.
And closer Jameson Maj added two more saves to extend his LSC and ACU records to 14.
Head coach Britt Bonneau said he was most pleased with two strong starts from his second-day starters Kennedy and Davis.
“Our Saturday pitchers really stepped up,” Bonneau said. “They both threw great games for us, and it was a tough weekend for our hitters.”
Second baseman Thomas Bumpass led the Wildcat lineup against ENMU’s pitching staff, hitting a .342 batting average (8 for 15) with three runs scored, one double, one home run and seven RBI.
ACU played a non-conference double header against South Central Regional opponent Texas-Permian Basin on Tuesday but results were not available by press time.