The Wonder Boys enter this weekend with a road record of 3-13 and will look to end those woes in a series in Magnolia against Southern Arkansas.
Southern Arkansas has had a successful season to this point, touting a 21-12 record, thanks to their dominance at home, where they are 13-2.
The Wonder Boys are coming off a weekend series against Arkansas-Monticello that featured impressive outings from the Tech starting pitchers, a rally that died short and an inning that would not end.
Unfortunately for Arkansas Tech, the Wonder Boys were only able to walk away with one win.
Ethan Taylor, a senior from Arlington, Tennessee, and Trent Armstrong, a junior from Waxahachie, Texas, respectively started games one and two of last Saturday’s doubleheader and both delivered quality starts.
Game one saw Taylor pitch six innings, including four shutout innings, striking out seven and allowing only two runs. The runs came from a solo home run in the fifth inning and a double steal in the sixth inning. Taylor would exit the game before the seventh inning and be given a no decision.
In game two, Armstrong took control, throwing a one run complete game.
Armstrong fanned eight while surrendering no walks. The only blemish for Armstrong was a solo home run in the fourth inning.
Armstrong was backed with plenty of offense early on, as the Wonder Boys tallied seven runs in the second inning, the big blow being a grand slam from Josh Watkins, a senior from Hope Hull, Alabama.
Zach Skelton, a senior from Amorel, also had a solid outing during the series opener Friday night.
Skelton went 5.2 innings, striking out eight, and allowing four runs.
Skelton was rolling through the game, striking out seven of the ten hitters he faced between the third and fifth inning, including the side in the fourth inning.
The Wonder Boys rallied for three runs in the ninth inning and managed to get the tying run up to the plate, but were unable to capitalize and Skelton was handed the loss.
The surge of strong starting pitching is something the Wonder Boys have been missing this season.
Out of the 12 teams in the Great American Conference, the Wonder Boys rank 10th in earned run average, opposing batting average and strikeouts.
Outfielder Davis Wilson, a junior from Hope, said “We have competitive pitchers, but on certain days you just don’t get the calls.”
Time is running out for the Wonder Boys to get on the right track, as only twelve conference game remain in the season. Six of those games will be played against teams that currently have a conference record above .500, Southern Arkansas and Southwestern Oklahoma, which are the next two series for the Wonder Boys.
The latter six conference games will close the season and are against Northwestern Oklahoma and Harding. Both are currently a game within Tech in the standings.
Head Coach Dave Dawson said, “We don’t believe in rebuilding years, they’re talented enough to achieve the goals we have set.”