Senior outfielder Kyle Conwell did something this weekend only one other player in ACU baseball history has done. He smashed three home runs in Friday night’s game against Eastern New Mexico.
That feat tied the single-game record set by Joel Wells in 2006 against Tarleton State.
“It’s a great honor to be in the record books,” Conwell said. “To be able to come out and hit three home runs at home, you can’t ask for anything better.”
His last bomb was a game-winner to lead off the seventh inning. It gave the Wildcats a 5-4 victory and a doubleheader sweep.
“Wow,” said head coach Britt Bonneau. “That final shot in the seventh was exciting. It got our guys going. Those are special moments for the kids and for me as a coach to watch.”
The team carried that momentum over to Saturday’s finale and won 4-2 to take 3-of-4 games from the Greyhounds.
ACU is now 21-12 overall and an impressive 9-3 in the Lone Star Conference, which ties them with TSU for first place. The squad has won all three of their division series this season.
Oddly enough, Conwell had no home runs on the year prior to Friday night. He whacked his first two blasts in the fourth and fifth innings to bring the ‘Cats within a 4-3 deficit.
Sophomore Tyler Eager tied the contest 4-4 in the sixth when he singled in a run. A thunderstorm then rolled in and delayed the game for 98 minutes.
Conwell’s walk-off home run was the Wildcats’ first since 2008 when Mike Elkerson did it against East Central. Junior closer Brady Rodriguez (2-1) benefited from the drama by claiming the win.
The first game of the doubleheader on Friday was a low-scoring pitchers duel between ‘Cat starter Carter Hahn (5-2) and Greyhounds starter Jaspreet Shergill. Hahn tossed 7.0 strong innings and fanned four batters.
ACU won 2-1 behind Ty Taylor’s sacrifice fly in the sixth which scored pinch runner Mason Smith. The game was tied 1-1 before the run.
Taylor (3-3) came out the next day and pitched a gem in the final game of the series. He threw 7 1/3 innings while scattering eight hits. He left the game in the eighth inning with a 3-1 lead.
Rodriguez took over for Taylor and escaped a bases loaded jam after he caught a comebacker for the final out of the inning. However, ENMU did score one run to make it 3-2.
The Wildcats cushioned their one-run lead in the bottom of the eighth.
J.R. Roland led off the inning with a single to left then was replaced by pinch-runner Smith. Two batters later, Seth Spivey doubled into the center field gap to plate Smith and make the score 4-2.
The first game of the series, Thursday, was a heartbreaking 11-10 defeat in 11 innings. The ‘Cats fought their way back from an 8-2 deficit with an eight-run eighth.
The lead was short-lived though. The Greyhounds scored two runs in the ninth off of lefty Austin Palmer and Hahn to send it to extra innings.
ACU will travel to Canyon this weekend for a four-game series against West Texas A&M. The first game is Friday at 7 p.m.