Tarleton and Lubbock Christian will meet on the baseball diamond for the first time in 20 years this weekend when the Texans host the No. 27 Chaps in a three-game series at the Cecil Ballow Baseball Complex Friday and Saturday. Tarleton and Lubbock Christian will play a doubleheader Friday starting at 1 p.m. before closing out the series with a 1 p.m. game Saturday.
With 15 wins over the first 21 games this season, Tarleton is off to its best start to a season since 2011 when the Texans won 16 of their first 21. The Texans are coming off a non-conference road series at Cameron, where Tarleton won three of four and outscored the Aggies 27-6. The Texans head into this weekend with a .283 team batting average, led by .300 hitters (with at least 50 at bats) Blake Adams (.373), Austin Call (.364), and Jose Reyes (.305). The Tarleton pitching staff, which ranks No. 28 in the nation in team ERA, comes into the series with a 3.57 earned run average.
Lubbock Christian comes into the weekend ranked No. 27 in the national top 30 poll by Collegiate Baseball News with an overall record of 15-7 and a 2-1 mark in Heartland Conference play. The Chaps are hitting .285 as a team, led by five .300 hitters (with at least 50 at bats) this season. The pitching staff boasts a 3.86 ERA in 22 games this season
As a team, the Texans enter this weekend ranked in the nation's top 50 in the following statistical categories:
No. 15 in Hit by Pitches (33)
No. 16 in Home Runs (26)
No. 23 in Home Runs per Game (1.24)
No. 5 in Shutouts (4)
No. 17 in Fewest Hits Allowed per Nine Innings (7.81)
No. 28 in Team ERA (3.57)
No. 29 in WHIP (1.30)
The Texans also have the following individuals ranked among the top 50 statistical categories:
Blake Adams – No. 15 in Taking Hit by Pitches (8); No. 15 in Home Runs (8); No. 31 in Home Runs per Game (0.38)
Eddie Avila – No. 14 in Saves (4); No. 24 in Pitching Appearances (11)
Jake Hasbrouck – No. 23 in Taking Hit by Pitches (7)
Nathan Hickey – No. 17 in Pitching Victories (4); No. 47 in Fewest Hits Allowed per Nine Innings (5.59)
Dylan Lemons – No. 20 in Home Runs (7); No. 43 in Home Runs per Game (0.35)
Eli McLane – No. 10 in Pitching Appearances (12)
Evan Pontley – No. 17 in Pitching Victories (4)
Tarleton and Lubbock Christian have not met since 1997, but have played 20 times between then and 1988 when baseball returned to Stephenville. Lubbock Christian owns the all-time series lead 15-5 and 4-5 all-time in Stephenville. This is the first meeting between the two schools in Stephenville since 1996.
Tarleton will hit the road to begin Lone Star Conference action at Texas A&M-Kingsville next weekend in a four-game (1-2-1) series. The Texans will play at 6 p.m. Friday, a doubleheader Saturday at 1 p.m., and wrap it up with a 1 p.m. single game Sunday.