Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Football to close spring training

ACU football fans only have one more chance to see the Wildcats in action this spring, and that will be Thursday when the team goes through its final scrimmage at Shotwell Stadium.  The scrimmage is set to start at 5 p.m.

The Wildcats went through their annual Purple-White Scrimmage last Saturday, but the team had two more practices and one more scrimmage after that game.  The defense dominated last Saturday's scrimmage, returning two interceptions for touchdowns and keeping the offense out of the end zone on 11 possessions.

ACU head coach Chris Thomsen is still looking for one of three quarterbacks -- either Zach Stewart, Mitchell Gale or Clark Harrell -- to take the lead in the race for the starters' job.  Stewart had the best performance of those three in last week's scrimmage, while Gale started the final seven games of the 2009 campaign and was the starter going into spring training.

The Wildcats will begin the 2010 campaign on Saturday, Sept. 4, when they travel to Topeka, Kan., to take on Washburn.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Wildcats Sweep Texas Wesleyan

ACU swept a pair of games Today from Texas Wesleyan winning 10-4 and 7-0.

Chris Hall was honored in between games tonight for winning a Rawlings Gold Glove last year for his play at second base.

The Wildcats used a quartet of pitchers to shutout the Rams and also limited them to only 4 hits.

Read the full recap here

ACU Baseball vs Texas Wesleyan

Today at Crutcher Scott the Wildcats and Rams are in the middle of a pair of 7 innings games. ACU took game one 10-4. After leading 4-2 TWU tied it in the fourth but ACU responded with 5 in the bottom half adding another run in the sixth for their 28th victory of the season.

Follow live stats here for game 2

Tragedies around the Lone Star Conference

Rivalries are for the playing field, but once the games are over real life settles in.  Real life hit the Tarleton State football program Monday morning when redshirt freshman Zach Shaver, 18, lost his life at the Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital-Fort Worth after a head injury suffered Saturday during a spring practice.

The Wildcats and Texans enjoy a healthy rivalry on the football field, but that rivalry takes a backseat to the reality that an 18-year-old young man tragically passed away while doing something he loves.  I talked to my good friend Joey Roberts -- the Tarleton State SID and an ACU graduate -- on the phone yesterday and Joey just said he was "writing a press release that no SID ever wants to write."

How true, and how sad.

The prayers of the entire ACU athletics department in general and the ACU football program in particular go out to Shaver's family, Tarleton State head coach Cary Fowler and the Texans.  In a time like this there is no rivalry, only sadness.

* In another tragic story, Texas A&M-Kingsville assistant athletics trainer Missy Fraser was hit in the temple by an errant throw on Friday during the Javelinas' series at Tarleton State.  She was careflighted to a hospital in Fort Worth and was admitted to the ICU unit with a skull fracture.  The last word was that she was improving.  We all hope and pray that she continues to improve so that she can return shortly to good health.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

LSC Crossover Day Three

Softball Day three about to start with the Wildcats and Midwestern. ACU is going with starter Shelby Hall who has worked her way into the role of the Wildcats' ace in her first season.

Shawna Barrow is going to lead things off for ACU as we are the visitors for both contest today.

Follow the game with live stats courtesy MSU athletics here

Saturday, March 27, 2010

LSC Day Two

Wildcats pulled out a great come from behind win over East Central today before losing to Central Oklahoma in the night cap.

A 9 run fourth inning gave Central all they needed in game two.

The Wildcats fought hard to come back but fell short in game two losing 9-5.

Read both recaps here of both games:

Football, tennis updates

For fans who couldn't make it out to Shotwell Stadium this morning for the annual Purple-White scrimmage, here's an update on the goings-on.  Thing about it is, head coach Chris Thomsen doesn't like to put too much information out there about what goes on in the spring.  So, the information is a little bit brief. 

Just know this, in brief: the quarterback spot is still up in the air, although Zach Stewart threw the ball with the authority on Saturday that we haven't seen since 2008; the secondary is in a flux and will need some transfer help before the start of the 2010 season; coach Thomsen said Aston Whiteside has had his best off-season and spring of his career, which should be causing opposing defensive coordinators across the league to have nightmares right now; and linebacker Fred Thompson is making a smooth transition to defensive end to replace Nick Jones, who has apparently given up football to concentrate on track and field.

* In men's tennis news, the Wildcats knocked off Prairie View A&M, 6-0, this morning before dropping a 7-0 decision to Baylor, which is ranked No. 8 in NCAA Division I.

* The baseball team won the first game of the doubleheader on Saturday, 16-8.  More on the doubleheader later tonight.

Game One vs ECU

Wildcats win game one today vs East Central.

A sac fly by Missy Mendoza scored the go ahead run for ACU and a single by Jenny Kulp put the Wildcats up 9-7.

In bottom of seventh Shelby Hall allowed a walk and a hit to give the Tigers 2 base runners with no outs. However she forced the next three batters to ground out to her for her fourth win of the season. Check later for full recap of both of today's game. We will play game two after watching Angelo State and East Central play in a few minutes.

Game one vs East Central

Softball fans we found an Internet card which isn't strong enough to support live stats, however we can connect and update you during a pitching change.

The Wildcats fell behind 2-0 in the first and a grand slam put ECU up 6-0.

The last two innings the Wildcats put up 2 runs in the third and a two-run homerun to left center pulled the Wildcats within two 4-6. Shelby Hall has come on in relief of Brittany Rexroat heading into the fifth still 6-4 East Central.

LSC Crossover UPDATE

Anyone looking for scores from the LSC Crossover in Durant our schedule has been changed a little. The Wildcats game with East Central has been moved to 12 p.m. which is running a little behind and we should start shortly. Also our game with Central Oklahoma has been moved to a 4 o' clock start. Check back later this evening for more updates and our story from the Crossover.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Busy weekend continues Saturday

Friday was just the beginning of a busy weekend for ACU athletes as the baseball, softball, men's and women's tennis and men's and women's track and field teams were in action.  All will be back in action Saturday with the golf team in action Monday and Tuesday in Dallas.

On Friday, the softball team split its first two games at the Lone Star Conference Crossover Tournament.  You can read Phillip Dowden's recap of the two games here.

At Crutcher Scott Field, the ACU baseball team swept Angelo State to run its winning streak to six games.  Recap of the twinbill can be found here.

At the Eager Tennis Center, the ACU women's tennis team took a pair of shutout wins, while the men's team rallied to take two wins.  The women's recap is here, while the men's is here.

The outdoor track and field season got started Friday with a few Wildcats at the McMurry Invitational.  Most of the rest of the men's and women's squads will be in action Saturday at the Bobby Lane Invitational in Arlington.

It's been a good spring so far for the Wildcats; let's hope it continues Saturday.

LSC Crossover: Day One

The Wildcats have experienced their share of tough losses this season with clutch late inning hits coming from the opposing teams. However today ACU got a clutch base hit from Missy Mendoza in the top of the seventh to give the Wildcats a 4-2 win over Cameron.

ACU also got an outstanding pitching performance from Brittany Rexroat. Despite her .500 record Rexroat has been solid on the mound for the Wildcats and did great again today scattering 7 hits over 7innings and allowing 2 runs. She also struck out 4 batters helping the Wildcats to their 10th win.

Unfortunately the Wildcats couldn't return the favor in the second game. ACU dropped a doubleheader to Cameron earlier in the season both on walk-off hits. Today was deja vu! After working for a 6-2 lead the Wildcat bullpen allowed two homers to tie the game and an 8th inning single for another walk-off win for Cameron. Good thing the next time ACU would see the Aggies is the post-season tournament.

Read more about today's game and box scores here:

Pertuit's husband eyes shot at NFL

ACU women's basketball assistant coach Terri Pertuit might have to get accustomed to the NFL life if her husband, Nick, has his way.

Nick – the Wylie boys' soccer coach and placekicker for the Abilene Ruff Riders – will be in Phoenix on Saturday and Sunday to participate in a free-agent specialists combine.  The camp is run by veteran NFL special teams coach Gary Zauner.

For more on Pertuit's shot at the NFL, click here.

ACU hires new assistant volleyball coach

In case you missed it, ACU assistant volleyball coach Lindsey Campbell recently resigned after the birth of her first child (congrats to Lindsey and her husband, former ACU football player, Jason Campbell).

So that left head coach Kellen Mock without an assistant just as the team was starting spring practices and getting ready to play in spring tournaments. After searching for a couple of weeks, Kellen has hired former Angelo State graduate assistant Jason Bibler as her new assistant coach.

For more on Jason and his background, click here.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

LSC Softball Crossover Tournament

Hello blog world. Assistant SID Phillip Dowden here, trying to do my part in keeping everyone updated with those who can't get enough of Wildcat sports.

This weekend the ACU Wildcat softball team is in Durant, Okla., for the annual Lone Star Conference softball crossover tournament.

But of late, it hasn't been so annual.

Per the usual, tons of rain has been dumped on the Durant area (most ditches on the drive up were still full) and the complex is not ready for play. However the Southeastern Oklahoma field is playable and one field on the five-field complex will be used tomorrow (Friday). As for the Wildcats, we'll be traveling just outside of town to rural Rock Creek High School. Sorry, no internet connection for live action (stats, audio, video, etc.). Check back for more on the LSC crossover.

For those who are veterans of the Wildcat sports blog, here's a little bit about my background. You may have heard me filling in from time to time in the Abilene area broadcasting Wildcat basketball and Wildcat baseball. Or if you're outside the area and enjoy listening to sports on I have done a few broadcasts online as well.

Before joining the ACU athletics staff, I worked for the American Junior Golf Association out of Braselton, Ga. (outside Atlanta), working in tournament operations and helping set up junior golf tournaments around the country at some amazing courses. If you see me at a game and would like to talk golf I'm always game.

Prior to the AJGA I was a student at Missouri Southern – an MIAA school in Joplin, Mo. – where I earned my bachelor's of science helping out in the Sports Information office. That's all for tonight. Don't forget if you're still in Abilene to head out to Crutcher Scott Field for the weekend baseball series against Angelo State.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Washington the star attraction of Pro Day

ABILENE -- ACU hosted its annual Pro Day for NFL Scouts on Monday, and while there were approximately 15 players on hand, one player definitely drew the most attention.

Former ACU left tackle Tony Washington took part in portions of the drills and was the star attraction as a camera crew from ESPN and local media outlets documented his every move. The ESPN crew was on hand to film Washington going through the workout for background video that would go with a possible story detailing his off-field personal issues that were revealed two weeks ago.

It's easy to see why NFL scouts still think so highly of Washington. He checked in at just a shade over 6-6 and 304 pounds. He said he lost a few pounds last week after he was stricken with strept throat.

But in just a few months of training for the NFL Combine and the draft, it's obvious that Washington's body has undergone a serious transformation. He's not at all what you would call a "soft" 304, but rather a lean 304 who has the look of an NFL left tackle.

Washington only ran the 40-yard dash and participated in the Pro Agility Drill, and he said his only goal for the day was to improve on his performances from last month's NFL Combine. He did just that as he ran a 5.09 40-yard dash and performed better in the Pro Agility Drill.

"I feel like I've put myself in position to go in the second or third round," Washington said. "The draft will take care of itself, and I understand that. I just want a chance to play in the NFL; it's been a dream of mine since I was a little kid. I'll play for anybody, I don't really care. I'd play for the Afghanistan Roughriders if there was such a team."

It's unlikely he'll have to go to the Middle East to find a place to play. He already has a visit scheduled for next week in Buffalo with more to come. He also visited with each of the 32 teams in the league at last month's combine and sat down for face-to-face meetings with San Francisco head coach Mike Singletary and Oakland head coach Tom Cable.

"Coach Singletary was a good guy, but very intense," Washington said. "Cable was all football. He told me he didn't care about the other stuff, he just wanted to know about my football background and skill."

And that's likely what most of the 32 teams will want to know about over the next month as they evaluate Washington's ability to move from the NCAA Division II level to the NFL.

"I'm not intimidated about the possibility of playing at the next level," Washington said. "I just look at it as a challenge and an opportunity to prove myself again. I'm looking forward to the next month, finding out where I'm going and getting down to business."

The only team to send a scout was the Dallas Cowboys, whose scout ran the drills. ... Tarleton State wide receiver Devin Guinn and Texas A&M-Commerce linebacker Stephen DeGrate were also in attendance at Pro Day. ... Former Wildcats who participated included Cody Brown, Tony Harp, Craig Harris, Major Culbert, Reggie Mathis, Arthur Johnson, James Peters, Tony Metoyer and Josh Wise. ... Peters popped out 44 reps on the 225-pound bench press, while Metoyer completed 38 reps. ... Metoyer is training for Strongman competitions, the first of which is the Ronnie Coleman Classic next week in Plano.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

First-Day Thoughts from Bartlesville ...

Before we move on to the second day of the LSC Post-Season Basketball Tournament here in Bartlesville, Okla., let's take a quick look back at Day 1, which was dominated by the men's teams from the LSC South.

* ACU head coach Jason Copeland has talked all season about how tough the LSC South is, and that was on display in Wednesday's first round. Three of the four LSC teams in action won with West Texas A&M (the No. 4 seed from the division) upsetting LSC North Division champion Central Oklahoma, 80-79, in the final game of the day.

WT head coach Rick Cooper is one of the good guys in the league (now that's tough for anyone from ACU to say) and might be the best coach in the LSC, and his teams are always prepared when it comes to tournament play. But even Cooper had to be surprised at how quickly his team got out against the Bronchos.

Earlier this season, UCO blew out West Texas A&M, but Wednesday night the Buffs turned the tables on UCO, jumping out to a 22-5 lead. UCO finally caught the Buffs at 60-60 midway through the second half, and took the lead at 73-71 and then taking a 76-73 lead on an Eric Cazenave 3-pointer. But the Buffs bounced back, tying the game at 79-79, and then forcing a turnover with five seconds left.

That's when Cazenave made one of the strangest plays you'll see. With 1.8 seconds left in the game and Nick Burns at least 45 feet from the goal, Cazenave went for the steal and instead caught Burns with a hip-check. Cazenave was whistled for his fifth foul, but more importnatly, Burns went to the free throw line where he hit the first free throw to make it 80-79. He missed the second, but UCO couldn't do anything with the miss and the Buffs picked up the day's only upset.

* At the end of the UCO-WT game, there was a clock malfunction that had everyone on edge as to the game's final outcome. With 1.8 seconds left in the game, Burns went to the line and hit the first free throw to put the Buffs up 80-79. He missed the second free throw, however, and after UCO's Tyler Phillips grabbed the rebound and fired a length-of-the-floor pass for a teammate who missed a shot, it appeared the game was over.

But the clock operator forgot to start the clock on the miss, so instead of the game ending, the officials had to go to the video replay. After using a stopwatch along with the live video, it was determined the shot -- which still didn't go in -- was long after the buzzer should have sounded, and the game was declared over.

* Angelo State's men's basketball team has to learn to control itself. Late in yesterday's first-round loss to Northeastern State, there was an altercation that led head coach Fred Rike to sending about half his team to the locker room for the final few seconds of the game. He had to have an assistant coach pull two guys out of the locker room to go with the three guys who didn't participate in the altercation come back out on the floor just to finish the game with five on the floor.

This is the second straight post-season game that has seen the Rams end the game with an altercation. Last year at the regional tournament there was an incident between the Rams and Bearcats of Southwest Baptist that resulted in technicals. Let's just say that Angelo State AD Kathleen Brasfield was clearly very unhappy about the way the Rams represented themselves and the university Wednesday afternon.

* Tarleton State's depth finally wore out Texas A&M-Commerce, which saw four of its players foul out in the game. The Texans were down 54-43 with 7:01 to play in the game, but outscored the Lions 43-22 over the final 7:01 of regulation and five minutes of overtime to take the 83-76 overtime victory.

* Midwestern State might be the best team in the field, but the Mustangs are going to have to play much better the rest of the way to beat Tarleton State, Northeastern State or West Texas A&M. In fact, one person who has seen almost every MSU game this year said that their win over Southwestern Oklahoma State on Wednesday was one of their worst performances of the season.

Now, on to Day 2...