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Friday, April 5, 2002

Today's Baseball

At home

Abilene Christian vs. Tarleton State

  • When: 4 p.m. (DH); noon Saturday

  • Where: Crutcher Scott Field

  • Records: ACU 29-11, 12-5; TSU 19-16, 8-7

  • The matchup: A pair of teams with a lot to gain will face off in a three-game series this weekend when Abilene Christian hosts Tarleton State in a Lone Star Conference South Division series.

    The Wildcats, who are three games ahead of Tarleton in the LSC South Division standings, must sweep the series to secure the title and the right to host the conference tournament. The LSC North and South Division champions host the tournament every other season.

    This year marks the return of the tournament to the winner of the South Division title.

    Coming away with that sweep could be a challenge against a hot Tarleton team that has won its 14 of its last 16 games. The Texans are currently in a tight battle for second place in the conference standings with West Texas A&M.

    The top two teams from the LSC South Division will advance to the league tournament.

    “Any time we play Tarleton it’s a big series because of the rivalry between the two schools,” ACU coach Britt Bonneau said. “Tarleton will be ready to play because they have a lot on the line as far as trying to get into the conference tournament.”

    Tarleton got off to a 7-14 start this season before going on a late-season surge that included a doubleheader sweep of defending Division II national champion St. Mary’s last Friday.

    Shortstop Noel Sauceda has led Tarleton’s charge by hitting .667 (18 for 27) in his last eight games. Sauceda has earned hitter of the week honors in the LSC South Division in each of the last two weeks. He is hitting .433 for the season with 28 RBI.

    Dustin Holland will likely start one game against the Wildcats. Holland (5-1) has thrown three straight complete games. Pacer Bourland (3-4) and Joel Robinson (4-3) will also likely start a game for Tarleton.

    ACU, which is ranked No. 23 in the Collegiate Baseball Magazine Division II poll, enters the series off of a 3-4 stretch that followed a seven-game winning streak.

    Center fielder Creighton Bryan leads ACU in hitting with a .417 average. Five other ACU players are hitting at least .380, including first baseman Brandon Stover of Cooper. Stover is hitting .396.

    Shawn Brooks (3-1) will start Friday’s game, while Frankie Keller will start the first game Saturday. The final starter for the series will likely come from a group that includes Duane Welch (5-0), Corey Tidwell (5-3) and Scott Buffington (5-2).

    On the road

    Wylie vs. Ballinger

  • When: 5 p.m. today

  • Where: Ballinger High

  • Records: Wylie 17-4, 4-0; Ballinger 9-7, 2-2

  • The matchup: Wylie will look to continue its unbeaten run through District 5-3A play today when the Bulldogs take on Ballinger.

    Wylie improved to 4-0 in district play Tuesday by pounding Clyde, 17-1. Wylie jumped on Clyde in the first inning when 10 of its first 11 batters reached base.

    Danny Ruth keyed Wylie’s early rally by hitting a leadoff triple. Cole Landers, Jeff Rariden and Ryan Saltzgaber combined to throw a two-hitter for Wylie.

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