ACU looks to win their second conference series as they face Stephen F. Austin in Abilene this weekend, but look to turn the offense around after being two-hit at UTA.
Head Coach Britt Bonneau made it clear that although his goal is to win games, the non-conference matchups do more than just pad the stat sheet.
“It does give you a chance to throw some guys you haven’t thrown, to see how you can throw them on the weekend.” Bonneau said.
That strategy seemed to work for the ACU pitching staff as the three pitchers each gave up only one run, but the offense struggled to get anything going as the Wildcats lost 3-0. The only two hits came from Junior outfielder Dalon Farkas and senior outfielder/pitcher Derek Scott, with Scott also throwing a one-run, one-hit ninth inning. UTA totalled four hits with its runs coming off a solo shot, a single and a fielder’s choice.
One thing the ‘Cats can take into the weekend is that they lead the Southland in a number of offensive categories including hits, runs, slugging percentage and batting average, which they are ranked fifth nationally at .333. They head into a series against an SFA team that is struggling heavily in that department, with a team .249 batting average, which puts them fourth from the bottom of the conference. Pitching doesn’t fare much better as they hold the worst ERA in the conference at 7.36.
Bonneau made it clear that the team has changed since last year, and they’re looking to win their third conference game on Friday, which would tie them for total conference wins last season.
“I like our, I guess you could call it the mojo of the dugout,” Bonneau said. “The confidence of what we’re trying to do. Nobody is trying to do more than what they could do, and as long as we don’t have hitters going up to the plate and trying to be home run hitters, and they’re being the hitters they can be, we’re a pretty good team.”
The Wildcats start off the series Friday at Crutcher Scott Field with a game at 6:00 p.m., and continue with games at 2:00 p.m. Saturday and 1:00 p.m. Sunday.