LUBBOCK – The ACU Wildcats will be back in action Tuesday evening when they take on Texas Tech for the second time this season at Rip Griffin Park at Dan Law Field.
Tuesday's game is set for 6:30 p.m. and can be heard locally on 98.1 FM The Ticket. The Wildcats are 12-16 overall and carry a three-game losing streak into Lubbock after being swept at home last weekend by Lamar in Southland Conference play. Texas Tech is 23-11 on the season.
This is the second meeting of the season between the Wildcats and Red Raiders. Back on March 11, Texas Tech scored five first-inning runs off starting pitcher Nate Cole en route to a 6-2 weather-shortened win over the Wildcats. The game was stopped after the top of the seventh after a severe wind and dust storm blew through Lubbock, leaving both players and umpires alike unable to see.
Texas Tech leads the all-time series against ACU, 28-16, including 22-6 in Lubbock. ACU has lost six straight games against the Red Raiders with the Wildcats' last win in the series coming on April 20, 1976, when ACU beat Tech, 4-3, in Abilene. ACU's last win in Lubbock was on April 29, 1967, when Bill Gilbreth fired a no-hitter against the Red Raiders in a 1-0 win.
ACU freshman third baseman Brandon Grudzielanek has taken over the lead in hitting in the Southland Conference as he carries a .400 batting average into Tuesday’s game at Texas Tech. Grudzielanek – who moved to third base after former starter Kyle Giusti was injured in ACU’s 6-1 win over Texas College on March 25 – is hitting .455 (10 for 22) with one run scored and five RBI in the six games since he took over for Giusti.
Grudzielanek is 38 for 95 (.400) with a team-leading 22 RBI on the season, but, amazingly, has just one extra-base hit on the season: a double in Saturday’s 5-4 loss to Lamar. However, he’s also drawn seven walks and has a sparkling .429 on-base percentage in the cleanup spot in the Wildcats’ lineup.
Senior catcher Seth Spivey has seen his average fall from a season-high .600 on March 1 down to .387 entering Tuesday night’s game. That average, however, is still good enough for second in the Southland Conference. Spivey is fourth in the league in runs scored (29), first in triples (three) and second in total bases (65).
ACU continues to lead the Southland in hitting with a .301 team batting average, but is 13th in pitching (5.34 ERA) and last (14th place) in defense (.952 fielding percentage). ACU has been uncharacteristically poor defensively in 2014 with 50 errors in just 28 games.