Freshman center fielder Tyler Eager is making his presence known in the ACU baseball program.
Eager, in the second series of the season, hit a three-run home run, and a bases-loaded, two-out single down the left field line to drive in the game-winning run in the final game against Colorado Christian University.
As a result, the Wildcats swept a four-game series from CCU this weekend at Crutcher Scott Field.
On Friday, the ‘Cats won 5-2 then 10-run ruled the Cougars, 11-0.
ACU walloped Colorado Christian again Saturday, 10-2 in the first meeting. The final game went into extra innings where Eager sealed the deal in the bottom of the 10th with his single making the final 10-9.
Head coach Britt Bonneau was impressed with his pitchers.
“Overall I thought our pitchers bounced back and showed more aggressiveness in the zone,” Bonneau said.
The sweep gives the Wildcats a five game winning streak and improves its overall record to 6-2. The Cougars leave Abilene with an 0-4 record.
Bonneau is satisfied with the team’s current standings.
“6-2 is a good record,” Bonneau said. “But there are still mental aspects we need to work on.”
In the series opener, the ‘Cats scored three times in the second and two times in the third to take a 5-0 lead. Starter Clint Cooper allowed six hits and two runs through five innings, picking up his first win of the season.
Michael Curtis pitched a scoreless seventh to get the save.
Senior Ryan Luckie had two RBI, while Mike Keegan drove in a run.
The second game on Friday was all ACU. Senior pitcher Aaron Lambrix was a big reason why. He scattered three hits in six shutout innings. Lambrix never allowed a runner past second base.
“Aaron is such a competitor,” Bonneau said…”He had his changeup working and he established his fastball.”
Emmett Niland took over in the seventh to finish the win.
Senior infielder Duncan Blades was the key figure offensively. He went three for four with one run scored and two RBI.
Junior catcher Rodge Macy had two hits and scored three runs.
The Wildcats put the game away with eight runs in the third. The inning included a two-run double by Macy.
Eager smacked a three-run home run to right field, beginning a five-run second inning in the day game Saturday. Abilene Christian came across the plate two more times in the fourth and three times in the fifth to push ahead 10-1.
“I was just hoping to put the ball in play,” Eager said. “I wasn’t trying to hit a home run. It just happened.”
Niland went three for three with two runs scored and two RBI.
Jordan Herrera got the start, pitching four innings to nab the win. He allowed four hits and struck out three batters.
The nightcap was a sloppy performance for the ‘Cats despite pulling out the win. ACU committed eight errors. The team also left 16 runners on base.
Colorado Christian led 4-2, 4-3 and 5-4 until Mark Bailey tied the game in the bottom of the ninth with a double to left-center field to drive in Macy.
The Cougars responded in the top of the 10th with four hits to grab a 9-5 advantage. But the Wildcats weren’t finished yet.
ACU batted around in the bottom of the 10th. Eager started the rally by reaching on catcher’s interference. He would eventually score on a bases loaded walk.
In his second plate appearance of the inning, Eager ended all hopes of a Cougar victory with a line drive down the left field line scoring the game-winning run.
“The pitcher left the ball high and inside,” Eager said. “I slapped at it and the ball ended up landing just fair inside the left field line barely out of the reach of the fielder.”
“We knew going into the inning, it had to be a team effort for us to get the win. That’s why we came out on top.”