This past weekend baseball extended its home winning streak to six games in a row. This was the first time the Wildcats took the field since their 12-5 blowout loss to the University of Incarnate Word on March 2.
Throughout the weekend series, the Wildcats outscored the Marist Red Foxes 32-11. The series was highlighted by an explosive offense and great pitching efforts from the Wildcats.
Game one was Friday evening with Tyler Morgan, a sophomore right-handed pitcher from Flower Mound pitching for the Wildcats. Morgan would pitch five innings allowing two runs on just six hits in the Wildcat’s 9-2 victory.
Offensively the Wildcats were led by Miller Ladusau, a sophomore outfielder from Heath. Ladusau went 2-4 with two runs batted in, accomplishing this for a second time this season.
Game two was Saturday afternoon. The Wildcats would drive in 21 total runs on the day on 11 home runs. Tanner Tweedt, a junior catcher from Red Bluff, Calif., drove in five runs on five hits in the game, including an inside-the-park home run.
The 11 home runs is a team record for the Wildcats and were three short of the NCAA single-game record set by Georgia Southern in 2008. In total, eight Wildcats homered in the 21-1 victory.
However, it cannot go without mentioning the effort from junior right-handed pitcher Breck Eichelberger of Ivins, Utah. Last week Eichelberger had a six-inning one-run effort versus the Michigan State Spartans.
Versus Marist, Eichelberger didn’t slow his pace at all, allowing two hits and one run through five innings pitched. This was followed by a shutdown performance from four other Wildcats pitchers that would allow no hits or runs.
Head coach Rick McCarty believes that Eichelberger’s pitching begins with how he handles himself off the field.
“He’s just really consistent; he’s steady,” McCarty said. I think it just starts with his work ethic. I think it starts with his, you know, just the way he handles life across the board. Think he’s just real steady, you know, which is what you want in a starting pitcher.”
Game three was the closest game of the week, with Marist pulling out to a 6-1 lead. However, the Wildcats responded with an eight-run second inning and cruised to a 10-8 win and series sweep.
After a tough loss on March 2, McCarty has been happy with his team’s progress since then.
“Defensively, we’ve started off there,” McCarty said. “I think we’ve done a really good job; I think the team, individually infield outfield, etcetera, has been really solid so far. Offensively we had a banner weekend, and I think our pitching staff is kind of starting to figure out their roles.”
The Wildcats are now 7-4, with conference play looming with a three-game series versus UT-Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg this week. UTRGV is on a roll itself with a 9-4 record and Western Athletic Conference Preseason pitcher of the year Kevin Stevens leading their staff.
For now, the Wildcats are looking towards a Wednesday night matchup versus the Big 12’s Baylor Bears at Crutcher Scott Field at 6:05 p.m. and streaming on ESPN+.