The Wildcats will be looking to complete a perfect 9-0 home stand this weekend, when Lone Star Conference rival Angelo State University comes to Crutcher Scott Field.
“In the four years I have been here, there has been no love there,” said senior outfielder Cameron Bankston, who was honored by the LSC as the Player of the Week. “We know they will give us their best game, and we have to be ready.”
The Wildcats, who began the season as the No. 6 team in the country, have seen their ranking slip all the way down to No. 30 since the beginning of the season. Both Tarleton State University and West Texas A&M University have been ranked higher than the Wildcats in the early part of the season.
The Angelo State Rams are looking to extend their own winning streak. ASU has won its last four, three of those wins against the pre-season No. 2 team in the LSC Southeastern Oklahoma State.
The Wildcats proved they can put together a complete game with batting and pitching after winning all six of their games in four days last weekend, never allowing more than five runs.
This weekend however, those bats will need to come alive for ACU in its effort to make it nine straight wins.
Angelo State approaches the weekend with the top-ranked pitching staff in the LSC in terms of earned run average. The Rams have six pitchers with an ERA of under 2.50 and just four pitchers with an ERA over five.
Fortunately for the Wildcats, ACU has quietly become one of the best hitting teams in the conference. After its first weekend of play, ACU was in the bottom third of teams in batting average, runs, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. The Wildcats now rank at least fourth in all of those categories, moving from the bottom third to the top third, offensively, in just a few weeks.
“We are starting to figure things out,” said Head Coach Britt Bonneau. “It was something we can build off of.”
Will Calhoun and Bankston played significant roles in the offensive turnaround for the Wildcats. Both players are averaging better than .440 at the plate, good for fourth and fifth, respectively, in batting average in the conference.
ACU is 12-4 in the regular season against Angelo State since 2007 and 4-2 in the LSC Conference Championships.
The series will kick off Friday with a 7:05 p.m. first pitch time. The Wildcats and Rams will finish off the weekend on Saturday in a double header. The first game will begin at 2:05 p.m., with the second game beginning at 4:05 p.m.