The UTSA Roadrunners will open a three-game Conference USA baseball series tonight riding a significant wave of momentum. They have won four straight. In their last 18 games, they have won 15, including a 14-8 victory at home Tuesday against seventh-ranked Texas State.
All the recent history notwithstanding, UTSA can’t afford to dwell on its own success. Because, in less than an hour’s time, they will get underway on the road against another C-USA program in the midst of a late-season run. They’re set to take on the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders tonight at 6.
The Blue Raiders (21-17, 11-7) have won consecutive series in the conference against the UAB Blazers, the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, the Marshall University Thundering Herd, the Charlotte 49ers and the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs.
Last weekend, the Blue Raiders beat the Bulldogs two out of three in Ruston, La., the first C-USA home series loss for LA Tech this season. Middle Tennessee won the opener, 7-3, behind a complete-game victory by pitcher Zach Keenan. The Bulldogs bounced back to win the second game, 4-2. But the Blue Raiders persevered and pulled out a 6-3 victory in 12 innings Sunday.
The Roadrunners (28-13, 12-6) are coming off a three-game sweep at home of the FIU Panthers. On Tuesday, they fell behind by three runs to Texas State and then exploded for an important 14-8 non-conference victory.
Going into the weekend, the Southern Miss Golden Eagles lead the conference at 16-2. Louisiana Tech and UTSA are tied for second at 12-6. Middle Tennessee and Florida Atlantic are next at 11-7 each.
In terms of the NCAA baseball ratings percentage index, the Golden Eagles have won 15 in a row and have soared to No. 10. Middle Tennessee is second at No. 48, while UTSA is third at No. 51. Louisiana Tech is next at No. 55.
UTSA 28-13, 12-6
Middle Tennessee 21-17, 11-7
UTSA’s remaining schedule in conference includes a home series against Marshall (at home, May 6-8), Southern Miss (on the road, May 13-15) and UAB (at home, May 19-21).
The C-USA tournament will be held at Southern Miss from May 25-29. The winner of the C-USA’s postseason event will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.