The Wildcats take a break from Southland Conference competition on Tuesday, but it won’t be a day-off to say the least. ACU travels to College Station to face the no. 3 Texas A&M Aggies Tuesday night looking for back-to-back wins for the first time since Feb. 27 against Northeastern.
First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. at Blue Bell Park.
Senior Nate Cole (1-3, 2.83 ERA) is projected to get the start Tuesday with freshman Stephen Kolek (1-0, 1.64 ERA) taking the mound for the Aggies.
This will mark the third time over the last three years that ACU will make the trip to College Station. In their first meeting, the Aggies thoroughly thrashed the Wildcats, 20-2, in an A&M 22-hit barrage that wasn’t even close.
Last season however, the Wildcats pushed the then no. 1 ranked Aggies to the brink in a 3-2 loss with the decisive run coming in the bottom of the seventh inning. ACU got on the board in the first inning with a bases loaded walk then added another run on a double steal of second base and home plate, allowing the runner from third to score to make it 2-1 Wildcats. The Aggies had a response after every ACU score, pushing single-runs home in the bottom of the first, third and seventh innings.
Head coach Britt Bonneau squad stands at 11-19 with a 3-9 record in Southland Conference play. With a team filled with young, inexperienced talent, inconsistency has been the Wildcat’s greatest obstacle this season.
The team comes off a series loss to Houston Baptist at home, dropping two of three games against the Huskies. After losing game one, 3-2, senior Aaron Mason rescued ACU with a masterful outing in game two. Mason recorded his first career complete game shutout in a 9-0 win, in which he allowed just four hits and no walks while striking out six Huskies to earn his fourth win of the season. Mason’s outing was enough to grant him honorable mention for the Southland Conference Pitcher of the Week Award.
Game three ended in a 4-1 HBU advantage, as Huskies starting pitcher Zach Carter pulled off his own compete game for HBU. Carter allowed one run on four hits over his 9.0 innings while handing ACU its fifth loss in its last seven games.
Senior catcher Alex Copeland continues to lead ACU with a .310 batting average and a .414 on-base percentage, primarily thanks to his 10 walks on the season. Junior second baseman Russell Crippen is a hair below at .309 but leads the team in hits (29), slugging percentage (.447), doubles (7) and total bases (42). Junior outfielder Braxton Wilks leads ACU with 17 RBIs and has a five-game hitting streak going into College Station.
The Aggies are led by senior Hunter Melton, the reining Southeastern Conference Player of the Week. Melton has a nine-game hit streak going. Over the span, he is batting .514 (19-for-37) with seven runs, four doubles, one triple, four home runs and 14 RBI. Junior Boomer White leads the team in average at a .424 clip.