After having their season opener delayed by four days, the Wildcat baseball team will have to wait another four days to get their 2011 season underway. Weather has forced the Wildcats to cancel both the series with Incarnate Word and Delta State, two of the top 40 teams in the country.
ACU will now face off against Texas A&M-Kingsville this Friday in Kingsville with a three-game series against the Javelinas.
The Wildcats will not be able to make up their series with Incarnate Word due to Lone Star Conference bylaws which give teams three days to complete a series once both teams are in town.
“That’s baseball,” said head coach Britt Bonneau. “The bylaws give you three days to get your games in and we couldn’t.”
Bonneau and his players will get their shot at Delta State. The Statesmen will come back to Abilene in late March to make up the series lost this week.
With the cancellations, ACU has managed to make it through the roughest part of their schedule without a loss and never took a swing or threw a pitch. The three opponents the Wildcats were scheduled to face over the last week were all in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper’s top 40 pre-season poll heading into the season.
“It would have been a great test for us to play those teams,” said senior pitcher Chay Lytle. “But we just have to keep practicing and be ready for when we do get to play.”
Both Incarnate Word and Delta State have pushed back their season openers because of the cancellation of games with ACU. St. Mary’s on the other hand has begun the season 3-0 and will face ACU in a makeup game March 1 in San Antonio.
The biggest challenge for the players and coaches has been being patient with the wait of an impending season.
“We are frustrated, but we know we will get to play eventually,” said Bonneau.
ACU will also now have to begin a season that had six home games scheduled to start the year off on the road for their first three games. The Wildcats were 3-1 in a series with the Javelinas last year and also defeated Kingsville 16-7 in a post-season matchup in the Lone Star Conference Tournament, which the Wildcats went on to win.
Kingsville comes into the season as the No. 7 ranked team in the LSC pre-season poll, receiving 243 total votes including one first place vote, one of only two that didn’t go to the Wildcats.