After a 1-2 opener, the Wildcats will look to rebound this weekend in a Lone Star Conference matchup with East Central University.
Six games into the year, the Tigers are 2-4 on the season and just 1-4 in the Lone Star Conference. ECU was picked to finish last in the LSC Preseason Poll by the Sports Information Directors and coaches from all 13 competing universities as well as various members of the media.
East Central has struggled at the start of the young season with pitching, much like ACU. The Tigers come into the weekend Wildcat matchup with five pitchers with an ERA over 10.00 and 11 pitchers over 5.00. With a team ERA of 6.68, the East Central Tigers rank 10th in the LSC, just above ACU’s 11th place spot.
Last weekend, in their second LSC series with Southeastern Oklahoma, the Tigers managed just 10 runs in three games while giving up 25. The Savage Storm are picked second in the LSC preseason poll to start the season and currently sit in first place atop the conference.
For the Wildcats to rebound from last week’s trip to Kingsville, ACU will need to find some steadier pitching, which lacked in the later innings last weekend.
“We just need to get some more games under our belts and more experience,” said senior pitcher and designated hitter Will Calhoun.
The Wildcats gave up 16 runs during and after the sixth inning, allowing two Javelina comebacks despite leads of eight and three runs respectively for ACU.
“It’s important that we have a good weekend,” said Head Coach Britt Bonneau. “We need to get a few wins together and get some momentum.”
ACU also needs to maintain steadier batting this weekend.
Coach Bonneau’s team did manage to score 23 runs in their opening series, but many of those runs were the result of 14 Kingsville errors. ACU is currently 11th in batting average on the season; although, it has played the fewest games so far this year.
The Wildcats are 14-2 against East Central for the last four seasons, averaging more than 10 runs per game during that time.
“We have a lot of new guys,” Bonneau said. “They have to learn how to play with the pressure of being a great program.”
The games take place at Crutcher Scott Field Friday at 4:05 p.m. and Saturday at 1:05 p.m. and 4:05 p.m.