When the Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys walked off the field following a 3-2 loss to Arkansas-Monticello on April 6, they were in eighth place in the Great American Conference baseball standings and their hopes of a postseason berth were fading fast.
It's amazing how five straight conference wins can change your perspective and your position.
Arkansas Tech (21-22 overall, 10-8 GAC) will look to continue its late-season push when it hosts the East Central University Tigers (24-18, 8-9) for a three-game series at Tech Field in Russellville this weekend.
The Wonder Boys and the Tigers will play a single game beginning at 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 21, and a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 22. Admission will be free.
Saturday's contest will be broadcast on KWKK 100.9 FM, while Sunday's games can be heard on KCAB 980 AM.
Click here to access an Internet stream of the broadcast.
Arkansas Tech recovered from that series-opening loss to Arkansas-Monticello by defeating the Boll Weevils 7-4 and 7-1 the following day.
The Wonder Boys carried that momentum over to last weekend, when they went to Searcy and swept a three-game series from Harding.
As a result of its five-game winning streak in league play, Arkansas Tech is now tied for third place in the GAC standings and inside the cut line to make the inaugural GAC Baseball Tournament May 4-7 in Enid, Okla.
The top six teams in the final GAC standings will qualify for the postseason. The Wonder Boys will conclude the regular season by visiting Southern Arkansas for a three-game GAC series April 27-28.
This weekend will determine what that SAU series will mean.
If Arkansas Tech wins or sweeps its series against ECU, the Wonder Boys could enter the final weekend of regular season play with a chance to compete for the regular season conference title. If this weekend's series against East Central goes the other way, Arkansas Tech will be right back on the bubble to make the postseason at all.
Such is the narrow margin for error in a closely-contested GAC baseball race. Only four-and-a-half games separate first place from seventh place.
Southeastern Oklahoma State (29-12, 13-5) and Southern Arkansas (26-13, 12-6) are setting the pace. Southwestern Oklahoma State (23-14, 10-8) is tied with the Wonder Boys for third place.
Ouachita Baptist (23-20, 9-9) is just one game behind SWOSU and Tech, while Henderson State (21-19, 10-11) and East Central (24-18, 8-9) are also in the running for a GAC Tournament berth.
Harding (23-19, 6-12) and Arkansas-Monticello (16-25, 5-15) are at the bottom of the GAC baseball standings.
East Central enters this weekend's series in Russellville having lost six of its last nine games. The Tigers have suffered the same fate in each of their last three GAC series --- losing the first two games before bouncing back to salvage the finale.
Last weekend, Ouachita Baptist defeated ECU 6-2 and 5-1 in the first two games of their series in Ada, Okla. East Central won game three 5-4 when Chris Montgomery was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Click here to learn more about Arkansas Tech baseball.]]>