SAN ANTONIO – The ACU Wildcats will close out the Southland Conference portion of their season this weekend with a three-game set against Incarnate Word at Daniel Sullivan Field.
The first game is set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday with Friday's game set for 3 p.m. and Saturday's series finale set for a noon start. The Wildcats took two of three games from Incarnate Word in Abilene in late March. The Cardinals won the first game 11-3, but lost 4-2 and 4-1 over the final two days of the series.
ACU enters the series at 17-30 overall and 6-15 in Southland Conference play, while the Cardinals are 15-32 and 6-15. ACU enters the series having lost two straight after a series-opening win over Oral Roberts last weekend, while the Cardinals enter having lost five straight and eight of their last 10.
After the series at Sullivan Field, the Wildcats will head west to take on Arizona State on Tuesday, May 20, in the final game at historic Packard Stadium. The Wildcats will then stay in Arizona to take on Arizona in a three-game set (May 23-25) at Hi Corbett Field. Arizona is 19-30 overall, but is only two seasons removed from winning the College World Series.
ACU enters the series against Incarnate Word hitting .277 as a team and carrying a 5.41 team ERA. The Wildcats are seventh in the league in hitting, 14th in team ERA and 12th in team fielding (.957).
Senior catcher Seth Spivey is fifth in the league in hitting at .362, while freshman shortstop Brandon Grudzielanek is seventh in the league in hitting at .356 and leads the team with 34 RBI. Spivey is fourth in the league in total bases with 99. ACU could get a bit of a boost this weekend with the possible return of senior third baseman Kyle Giusti, who has been out since March 25 with a sports hernia injury.
ACU head coach Britt Bonneau said he will start senior lefthander Brady Rodriguez (2-4, 4.94 ERA) in Thursday's opener, followed by Garrett deMeyere (4-7, 4.66 ERA) on Friday and, possibly, freshman righthander Russell Crippen (0-0, 1.35 ERA) on Saturday. Rodriguez is the likely starter in Tuesday's game at Arizona State and in the season finale next Sunday at Arizona.