The Wildcats return home to the Crutch, where they are 4-0, to host the Northeastern Huskies of Massachusetts for a four-game series starting Friday afternoon.
Game one of the series is scheduled for 4 p.m. Games two and three will be part of a double-header on Saturday beginning at 1 p.m., followed by the finale on Sunday at noon. It’ll be the last home series the Wildcats have before going on a six-game road trip to Thibodaux, Louisiana and Stillwater, Oklahoma.
The Wildcats are coming off a 7-1 loss against nationally ranked Oklahoma University. The no. 25 Sooners struck early, taking a 2-0 lead into the fourth inning. ACU would respond with its lone run of the game on an RBI from junior outfielder Braxton Wilks. Oklahoma would come back with a four-run fourth inning, primarily on the strength of a one-out, bases loaded double that cleared the bases. The Sooners would tack on another run with a sixth-inning leadoff solo home run to right field.
Senior Nate Cole took the loss with a line of 3.2 innings pitched, eight hits and six earned runs in his first start of the season. The Wildcats five hits for the game were sprinkled throughout the lineup by junior third baseman Aaron Draper (1-for-4), junior second baseman Russell Crippen (1-for-4) and freshman first baseman David Ruot (1-for-4).
Head coach Britt Bonneau is expected to send senior Kyle Carroll to the mound for game one of the series against the Huskies. Carroll started Opening Day for the Wildcats last Friday and was great in his first career start. In 6.0 innings of work, Carroll gave up three hits while striking out four, walking one and giving up one unearned run in ACU’s 5-2 win.
Senior Garrett deMeyere should get the start in game two, followed by senior left hander Aaron Mason for game three. deMeyere led the Wildcats to a 7-2 victory over the Vaqueros with a 6.0 inning win while giving up four hits, an earned run and striking out two. Mason followed that up with an identical four hit-two strikeout-earned run outing the next game in ACU’s 3-1 win.
ACU has gotten solid production out of its freshmen class so far in the early season. Shortstop Mark Pearson (.313, .450, .375), Ruot (.286, .333, .263) and right fielder Willie Harris (.235, .278, .235) have started in all five games for the Wildcats and lead a group of four every-day freshman starters.
Wilks has gotten off to a hot start for the Wildcats. In three games, Wilks is hitting .364 (4-for-11) with three runs batted in, three runs scored and a double.
Veteran relievers Brandon Lambright and Nick Palacios have been strong for Bonneau and the Wildcats out of the bullpen. Lambright picked up two saves in the series against the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley while allowing two hits, a walk and two strikeouts. Palacios added a save in one of his two outings, each time allowing no runs, no hits, no walks and picking up a strikeout.
The Huskies (2-2) split a four-game series with Oklahoma in Norman. Sophomore shortstop Max Burt leads the Huskies with a .438 average (7-16). Freshman right fielder Jake Farrell picked up a team-leading three RBIs while going 3-for-9 in the series. Junior left fielder Pat Madigan went 4-for-16 with two RBIs and a double while starting all four games of the series.