ACU came into the series at home against the University of Incarnate Word with a 19-16 for the year and ended up defeating the Cardinals in the weekend series, 3-1.
The team struggled early on in the first game of the series. Freshman pitcher Morgan Tyler gave up eight runs in the top of the second inning to UIW. ACU attempted to come back with a score by sophomore center fielder Grayson Tatrow in the bottom of the third inning. But the Cardinals held off the Wildcat, resulting in a 12-1 win. The game was mercy-ruled in the seventh inning, with the last run occurring in the following inning by UIW. This caused ACU to fall behind in the series 0-1.
“I thought the team rebounded really well after that first game,” said head coach Rick McCarty. “They responded very well and found a way to win two games in the doubleheader from behind. That’s a sign of a championship club, and I saw a lot of positives.”
In the first game of the doubleheader, Incarnate Ward once again came out with the early lead, scoring twice in the first inning off of a home run. Junior right fielder Colton Eager hit a home run with two on base already while at-bat just shortly after. The home run gave ACU the first lead of the series 3-2. Junior designated hitter Tommy Cruz followed up right after scoring off a double from sophomore first baseman Bryson Hill. ACU won the game 10-7, tying the series up 1-1. Eager hit a season-high of four hits in a single game.
“We put together a string of good at-bats and fought well,” McCarty said. “Sometimes, it takes time to figure out some of the guys. Our guys pulled through after a rough start to the series.”
ACU came out strong during the second game of the doubleheader, scoring the first run of the game in the first inning. Tatrow scored off of a single by Hill, giving ACU a 1-0 lead. ACU scored once again in the sixth inning, giving them a 2-0 lead before UIW responded with three scores in the seventh. ACU then finished the game with a series high for the most runs in a game during the eighth inning. The team scored six times, beginning with a score from freshman left fielder Miller Ladusau. The Wildcats took another win against UIW, ending the game 8-2. The team took the lead in the series 2-1 going into the last game against Incarnate Word.
The Cardinals struggled at the beginning of the fourth game allowing four runs in the first two innings. UIW shortened the lead to one point in the top of the fourth inning, making the score 4-3. Cruz gave ACU a larger lead in the bottom of the fourth by scoring a home run. ACU led 8-3 going into the top of the ninth, with UIW having one more chance to tie the game. UIW scored one point ending the game 8-4, giving ACU the series win 3-1.
Now ACU heads into their next series with an overall record of 22-17 and is now ranked fifth in the Southland Conference. The team will travel to Houston to play Houston Baptist for their next series starting Friday, April 30. HBU is currently sitting in last place of the Southland Conference with a record of 10-28.