The Wildcats have hit a hot streak in their season over the past two weeks. The team has defeated the likes of Bellarmine University, No. 1 in the country Delta State and LSC foe No. 24 Incarnate Word.
The ‘Cats are 6-3 in their last nine contests, which includes taking 2 of 3 from Bellarmine, splitting two games with Delta St. and taking 3 of 4 from University of the Incarnate Word.
Senior utility-man Travis Schuetze has enjoyed playing these top ranked teams.
“It’s a real confidence boost,” he said. “Emotions are high in these games and I’m really impressed with our pitching staff.”
“That win against Delta was huge for the morale of the team,” said head coach Britt Bonneau. “It gave them a lot of confidence. We’ve had some great wars with Delta State at regionals so to beat them in our last meeting was a good feeling.”
The squad is now sitting at 15-10 overall and 3-1 in Lone Star Conference play.
The Wildcats played their first conference series this past weekend when the Cardinals came to town. The team won the first game in an offensive battle, 12-8. They lost the first game of a double header on Saturday, 5-1 but came back with a 3-2 win in the second game.
The second game turned out to be a pitching struggle between ‘Cat starter Aaron Lambrix and Cardinal starter Jesus Berduzco. Lambrix (2-2) tossed a complete game and allowed one earned run, while Berduzco threw 6.0 innings and gave up three earned runs.
ACU closed out the series in walk-off fashion on Sunday with a 5-4 victory in 10 innings. Senior J.R. Roland pinch hit in the bottom of the 10th and belted the first pitch he saw into right field scoring sophomore Tyler Eager from second base. Eager led off the inning with a single.
“We haven’t had a conference series win in a while,” Schuetze said. “It was awesome to have a guy come off the bench and have that kind of impact.”
Closer Brady Rodriguez (1-0) earned the win. He worked himself out of a two-on, one-out jam in the top half of the 10th after getting a 6-4-3 double play.
Schuetze ended several memorable streaks against UIW. He was 0-for-4 at the plate in the first contest Saturday which snapped his 14 game hitting streak and 22 game reached-base streak.
Bonneau said Schuetze has been a key component of the offense this season.
“He is very consistent,” he said. “He puts the bat on the ball and hits the ball hard.”
“If I can keep contributing to the team the way I am, I’m all for it,” Schuetze said. “I just want to help this team win.”
The ‘Cats faced Bellarmine and Delta State over spring break. The top ranked Statesmen took the first game, 6-5 but were blown out in the second contest, 10-4. Kyle Giusti led the charge for ACU against Delta. He went 3-for-4 in the second game with four RBIs. Infielder Seth Spivey and Schuetze both had good games as well as they each went 2-for-4.
Against Bellarmine, the Wildcats won the first two games 5-2 and 4-2, respectively. The Knights avoided a sweep in the series finale with a 5-4 victory.
ACU will continue conference play this weekend when they travel to Kingsville for a four-game series against Texas A&M University-Kingsville.