Wildcat Baseball Opens A-10 Play With Dayton
Davidson’s return to baseball this weekend marks the start of Atlantic 10 Conference play.
Having won seven straight games and 11 of their previous 12, the Wildcats are set to host Dayton at Wilson Field in the first of six four-game A-10 weekend series, which will feature seven-inning Saturday doubleheaders.
The Wildcats are coming off a sweep of North Alabama last weekend.
“Conference or non-conference, we’re excited to get to play and practice each day,” said Davidson coach Rucker Taylor. “The extra-inning rule (of adding a runner at second base) in conference may present some new excitement for fans, and we’ll be prepared for the situations if they arise. We expect our league division to be a great group of teams and a lot of good baseball to be played.”
The A-10’s 13 teams are split into two divisions this season, with Davidson in the seven-team A-10 South. Along with Dayton, the Wildcats will also host George Washington (April 23-25) and George Mason (May 13-15) and visit VCU (April 16-18), Richmond (April 30-May 2) and Saint Louis (May 20-22). The A-10 tournament is set for May 27-29, with the top two teams in each division advancing to a four-team event. The on-campus host site will be determined by seeding.
Beginning with their 9-4 win at No. 16 South Carolina on March 17, the Wildcats have gone 11-1 over the last three weeks.
That includes weekend sweeps of Spring Hill, Seton Hall and North Alabama and splitting two midweek contests with Wofford. The result is a 16-9 overall record as league play begins.
“We’ve done some things well so far and still feel we have a higher level we can get to as we gain experience and some guys work and develop skills in-game,” said Taylor. “This group has practiced and played hard. Like all teams, we’ve had our share of nicks and bruises that have helped develop some depth. We’ve had some guys do an excellent job of leading, and some others have gotten acclimated to the college game quickly.”
During the 11-1 stretch, the pitching staff has posted a 2.61 team ERA. Blake Hely has led the starters with a 1.31 ERA in 20.2 innings, while the bullpen has been bolstered by Jacob Peaden (2-0, 0.00 ERA, 11.2 IP), Will Schomberg (1-0, 1.23 ERA, 7.1 IP) and Nolan DeVos (2-0, 1.42 ERA, 3 saves, 6.1 IP).
Three hitters — John Hosmer, Alex Fedje-Johnson and Ryan Wilson — have hit north of .300 in the 12-game stretch, led by Hosmer’s .436 mark. Fedje-Johnson has hit .350 and joins Hosmer, Parker Nolan and Ruben Fontes (3) with multiple homers during that time, while Wilson (.310) has led the way with 13 RBIs.
Wilson was named A-10 Rookie of the Week on Monday, after hitting a team-best .500 last week, while driving in a team-high seven runs.
Home Sweet Home
The Wildcats have won their last 18 games at Wilson Field, including all 13 this season.
The streak ranks second nationally behind Wright State (22) and ahead of Tennessee and East Carolina, which have each won 14 straight at home.
While the Wildcats welcome Dayton to town, Wright State will put its streak on the line this weekend when it hosts Purdue Fort Wayne for four games.