The Wildcats took an eight-game winning streak to Austin for a midweek match-up with St. Edwards on Tuesday. They left after dropping a game Head Coach Britt Bonneau said had a final score more suited to a football game.
The Hilltoppers ended the ‘Cats streak with ease in an 18-3 rout. The final score appears out of place among the Wildcats’ recent results, as ACU had gone 26-6 since March 1. They had also given up double-digit runs only three times all season going into Tuesday’s game.
“We didn’t pitch well, and we got behind really early and really quickly,” Bonneau said. “It was one of those games that happens every once in a while; it was just one of those games.”
The Hilltoppers outhit ACU 14-5 in the contest, and only outfielder Aaron Oliver had more than one hit for the Wildcats. SEU’s Eric Morgan stole the show, driving in six runs on three hits.
“It was a great day to hit; unfortunately we didn’t take advantage of it,” Bonneau said. “We didn’t do a good job of keeping it down in the zone either.”
The loss was nonconference, so the Wildcats did not lose their commanding Lone Star Conference lead. Their overall record now stands at 38-9, while their LSC record remains at 25-7. The Wildcats closest competitor, Cameron University, has a 21-13 record in LSC play, meaning the Wildcats could clinch the LSC regular-season title this upcoming weekend.
The Wildcats also have regional aspirations. They rank No. 2 in the first NCAA Division II South Central Region rankings released Wednesday. Central Missouri ranks No. 1 in the region and No. 2 in the nation; ACU is ranked No. 6 in the nation.
The Wildcats will play host to the LSC Championships on May 1-4 but would also like to do so for the regional tournament. Bonneau said the Wildcats must keep winning, and they need a slip-up from CMU for those dreams to become reality.
The Wildcats head to Weatherford, Okla., this weekend for their second-to-last LSC series of the season. ACU will battle a determined Southwestern Oklahoma State team with an LSC record of 14-19, good for eighth in the conference. The Bulldogs will be fighting for their lives, needing to climb into the top six to make the LSC postseason tournament. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday.