Starting the season off with six straight road games is never easy for a baseball team.
Add the fact those six games come against teams ranked in the top 15, that’s almost impossible.
The UAFS Lions did just that but took two of three from No. 1 ranked St. Mary’s last weekend and are carrying a ton of momentum heading into Saturday’s home opener against Texas A&M-International.
“Any time you can beat the number one team in the nation it is always big but at the start of the year, at their place just good momentum for the rest of the conference season for us,” UAFS senior Christian Allen said.
“It was a huge win,” UAFS senior Gordon Miller said. “The top two teams in our conference. Number one team, number 15, it feels good to come out 3-3 against very good team.”
The Lions (3-3) don’t have time to bask in their spoils, though. The Dustdevils are a perfect 8-0 overall including 6-0 in the Heartland Conference.
“It was good wins for the programs, the university and for these guys,” UAFS coach Dale Harpenau said. “They've put in the time and the effort, worked hard and they've been looking forward to that challenge. The first two weekends on the road, play at St. Edwards and then St. Mary's who was ranked number one at the time, it was kind of a reward for the hard work they put in so far this year.”
Trying to carry that momentum over will be tough. Especially since the weather cancelled a scheduled mid-week game against Harding University.
“We just have to keep the momentum,” Allen said. “We got some timely hits last weekend and that's what it's going to take early in the year. The pitching is always going to be ahead of the hitting. We just have to have our pitchers keep us in the game and our hitters need to come up with big hits.”
The three-game conference series starts on Saturday at 1 p.m.