CHICKASHA – After the best start in school history and moving into third place in the conference, the University of Science and Arts’ baseball team found themselves ranked in the NAIA national top-25 for the first time Wednesday.
As a reward for being ranked No. 21 in the country with a record of 26-6 overall, the Drovers get to host No. 1 Lubbock Christian in a weekend series at Bill Smith Ballpark. LCU moved to 30-4 overall after winning its last four games. The Chaps’ last loss was a 4-3 decision to Texas Tech.
The three-game series begins with a Friday doubleheader at 2 p.m. Saturday’s nine-inning game begins at 1 p.m. The Drovers are ready for this historic matchup with possibly the school’s best team. No Drover team has ever been 20 games above .500.
USAO has three players hitting over .400 for the season and five players hitting better than .375 with other records falling almost every game. Kevin Carby and Luke Krobath are hitting near .500 while Krobath and Brandt Lierle are closing in on records for doubles, home runs and RBIs.
Junior pitcher Nate Hammons has set a new school record with 125 career strikeouts, and he and starters Ricky Duke and Caleb Martin have 19 combined wins this season.
For LCU, just about everything has been going right all season. Seven players are hitting over .400 this season, and only one player is hitting worse than .300. Will Stamp leads the team with a .479 batting average with 16 doubles, 10 homers and 48 RBIs. Ross Blondin leads the team with 64 RBIs and 16 home runs.
With a 3.53 team ERA, the Chaps have posted three shutouts and held teams under five runs in 26 games. R.L. Eisenbach boasts a team-best 7-0 record on the mound with only 14 earned runs allowed and 62 strikeouts.