Head coach Rick McCarty and the Wildcats baseball team are upping the level of competition they have ever seen in the upcoming season.
The Wildcats schedule has them playing 54 games over the course of the spring, including 30 conference games and 24 non-conference games.
Conference play will consist of 10 series against Southland opponents, and non-conference play will consist of 13 games against 2019 regional field participants.
The Wildcats are set to play their first series of the spring against Utah Valley of the Western Atlantic Conference in a four-game series beginning on Valentine’s Day.
During the rest of February, ACU will play TCU in a home-and-home series on the road beginning on February 20. Following the series against the Horned Frogs, the Wildcats will head west to California to play Sacramento State for a three-game series and head back to the Big Country to play Youngstown State to wrap up the month.
Head Coach Rick McCarty said the team feels good about what’s ahead.
“We feel good,” McCarty said. “This team is going to be competitive, and they’ve put in the work to do just that.”
March will be mostly on the road for ACU as they will begin the second month of the season in College Station to face the Aggies of Texas A&M.
They’ll finish the A&M series and head to the bayou to face Northwestern State in Natchitoches, Louisiana for a three-game set beginning March 6.
Following Northwestern State, the Wildcats will return to the Lone Star State to face the Texas Longhorns in Austin for the first time in program history, followed by a series against A&M Corpus Christi, New Mexico State, Southeastern Louisiana, Baylor, Arkansas Pine-Bluff and TCU.
McCarty feels like this will be a great experience for the players to go up against the best competition there is in the nation.
“It’s an incredible opportunity for these guys,” McCarty said. “That level of competition is going to something we’ve never seen before, and we are heading into the season looking to compete with the highest level of Division I competitors.”
ACU will open up April in San Antonio with a date with the Cardinals of Incarnate Word.
The Wildcats will follow that series with the lone neutral site games against Texas Tech in Midland. The Red Raiders are coming off of another big season, making another run to Omaha in 2019, the third time in five years, as well as seeing their star third baseman Josh Jung get taken eighth overall by the Texas Rangers in the 2019 Amateur Draft. The Wildcats will be looking to do damage against Lamar, UT Arlington, Houston Baptist and first-time Division I competitors Tarleton State.
The Wildcats will close its season in early May with three series. They will open the month at home against Central Arkansas in a three-game set on May 1-3, followed by a road series against Nicholls from May 8-10. ACU will close out the 2019 regular season at home May 14-16 against the New Orleans Privateers.
This will be the first season the Wildcats have faced this level of competition. Of the five power-five schools, A&M, Texas Tech, TCU and Baylor all made the NCAA regional tournament in 2019.
Tech also made its run to the College Baseball World Series last year, going 2-2 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha. New Mexico State also had a successful 2019 season, as they were co-champions of the Western Atlantic Conference.