The Wildcats (4-1) shocked the Oklahoma Sooners (2-3) Wednesday night in a 4-3 extra-inning thriller inside Globe Life Field in Arlington.
With the win, the Wildcats earned their first win over a Power 5 team this season also giving the program its tenth win against Power 5 opponents. This is also ACU’s first-ever program win over the Sooners, who qualified for the College World Series last year.
“I’m super proud of the guys’ effort tonight especially traveling over here at Globe Life Field,” head coach Rick McCarty said. “It’s the chance of a lifetime for a lot of these guys who grew up Rangers fans so I’m super proud of them and find a way to win there. This is a game that proves all wins aren’t the same sometimes, but this will definitely be a signature win for me.”
Junior right-handed pitcher Blake Anderson received his first start of the season on Wednesday and finished pitching after three innings. In his innings pitch, Anderson and the Wildcat defense only allowed two hits and earned five strikeouts. Pitching for the next four innings after Anderson was junior right-handed pitcher Drake Boggan, who also held the Sooner offense to two hits and caused two strikeouts.
“Blake Anderson gave us a great start, you know, Drake Boggan did his thing,” McCarty said. “They put up a bunch of zeros and they really set us up to be successful at the end. They made some big pitches and nice plays.”
While the Sooners were held scoreless in the first seven innings, the Wildcat offense was not.
The Wildcats’ first score came in the second inning when junior outfielder and infielder Jake Skaggs hit an RBI-single to right field, bringing junior outfielder Miller Ladusau, who doubled early in the inning. Then in the fourth inning, freshman catcher Maddox Miesse walked with bases loaded bringing in Ladusau again for Miesse’s first RBI of the night. Miesse struck again in the sixth inning with an RBI-single allowing senior catcher Tanner Tweedt to score.
Going to the eighth inning, ACU held a 3-0 lead over the Sooners, but they would not go away quietly. With sophomore left-handed pitcher Adam Byrd on the mound, the Sooners earned their first two runs of the game. Junior left-handed pitcher Max Huffling finished off the eighth inning but allowed one run in the ninth, tying the score, 3-3. ACU was unable to score at the bottom of the ninth, so the game went to extra innings.
Huffling stayed on the mound for the start of the top of the tenth inning, along with the Wildcat defense, held the Sooner scoreless. The Sooners’ last scoring chance ended on a double play hit left, and base runners getting tagged at first and second.
Junior infielder Garrett Williams walked to first and then moved to second after a sacrifice fly by Skaggs. Then, with two outs, Miesse earned his third RBI of the night in a walk-off single sending Williams home. Globe Life Field erupted and the ACU dugout cleared to celebrate the game-ending hit from Miesse.
“Maddox is a strong, young player we’ve got a lot of confidence in,” McCarty said. “When we go out and find and sign younger players, we tell them we don’t bring anyone in our program that we feel like can’t help us win a championship. He’s certainly a piece of the puzzle, so we’re looking forward to a lot more moments like that throughout his career.”
Miesse led the way with three RBIs to finish the night, while he, Ladusau and Skaggs ended the night with two hits apiece. Huffling, who finished pitching for 2.2 innings received the win, marking the second win Huffling has against a Power 5 team.
“There’s a brand over there in Oklahoma so that’s another huge Power 5 win for our program,” McCarty said. “We like playing giants around here, so we’ll absolutely celebrate this one, but we’ll get ready to play on Friday.”
The Wildcats’ next set of games sees the team return to Abilene to take on Southeast Missouri for a four-game series. The games in Crutcher Scott Field take place 4:05 p.m. Friday, 1:05 p.m. and 4:05 p.m. Saturday and 1:05 p.m. Sunday. Friday’s game will stream live on ESPN+ while Sunday’s game will stream on WAC International.
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