ACU started their season a high note, finishing the weekend at 4-0, after a sweep of Utah Valley on Opening Weekend.
A weekend filled with excitement at Crutcher Scott Field, the Wildcats hosted the Wolverines of Utah Valley and came up big in the first game of the 2020 season. In game one, the Wildcats took home the win, 3-2, in walk-off fashion.
ACU scored quickly in the first frame, putting up two runs off of the Wolverine’s starter Jesse Schmit. The Wildcats opened their first inning with a leadoff hit by pitch by freshman shortstop Cameron Cromer, who stole second base shortly after. Cromer’s steal setup junior outfielder Colton Eager’s RBI single through the right side of the infield, also advancing to second on a throwing error.
Senior designated hitter Eric Wimpee plated Eager on a double to the left-center field gap, putting the Wildcats up by two. ACU would later give up two runs in the seventh inning on an RBI double and a throwing error. The Wildcats, down to their final three outs of regulation baseball, began the bottom of the ninth with a leadoff single by Colton Eager, followed by a single junior outfielder Joseph Craig.
Eric Wimpee reached on a sacrifice bunt and throwing error by Wolverine’s pitcher Travis Parker. Devin Smith came in to pitch for the Wolverines, giving up the walk off sacrifice fly to junior Hunter Gieser to seal the victory for ACU.
On Saturday, the Wolverines and Wildcats met for a double header, with ACU taking both games with a combined score of 20-4. Cameron Cromer led the Wildcats offense on the day, going 5-10, scoring a team high five runs, two stolen bases and eight total bases on the afternoon.
In the first game, he finished a homerun shy of the cycle. ACU’s pitching staff held a stellar 16:3 K/BB ratio on Saturday, and finished the weekend with a 29:4 K/BB ratio. ACU held the Wolverines to a .233 batting average through the first three games.
ACU trailed twice in the final game of the series, 2-0 and 3-2, but came back to tie the ball game in the ninth inning. Joseph Craig came through with a looping RBI single to right field to even the score and send the ball game to extra innings. Freshman outfielder Hayden Creamer led off the 11th inning with a single and advanced to second base on senior infielder Ryne Randle’s sacrifice bunt.
After an intentional walk to freshman outfielder Miller Ladasau and a four-pitch walk to junior infielder Alexi Cazarin, the Wildcats had the bases loaded and set up the game winner.
With series superstar Cameron Cromer at the plate, Utah Valley pitcher Devin Smith skipped threw a wild pitch that trickled down the first baseline, allowing Clearman to slide into home for the series sweep.
ACU heads to Ft. Worth on Tuesday for a matchup against the Horned Frogs of TCU, followed by a trip out west to play the Dirtbags of UC Santa Barbara.