HOUSTON - made a good impression on the ACU coaching staff throughout fall and winter practices, both in the field and at the plate.
He kept it up Friday morning as he collected four hits and drove in four runs to lead the Wildcats to a 13-3 win over Arkansas-Monticello in the opening game of the Astros in Action D-II Invitational at Minute Maid Park.
The Wildcats (1-0) will be back in action Saturday at 7 p.m. against the fourth-ranked Mules of Central Missouri. The game will be broadcast on KSLI 1280 AM and online at www.skyboxlive.com/show/acu-sports. The game will be joined in progress after the completion of the ACU men's basketball game at Eastern New Mexico.
Starting pitcher went the distance in the run-rule-shortened contest, scattering seven hits over seven innings and striking out eight Boll Weevils. ACU led 3-0 through four innings before Hunter Allday hit a two-run home run in the top of the fifth and Ben Agredano hit a solo shot to left field to tie the game at 3-3.
Herrera, however, bounced back to retire the final seven batters he faced in order, including four via strikeout. He threw an even 100 pitches, 62 of them for strikes, mixing in a good fastball with a sharp breaking ball. And while he was responding to the three runs to tie the game, ACU's offense came back with 10 unanswered runs to take the win.
"His velocity was where we needed it to be, and he was able to throw his off-speed stuff when we needed him to throw it," said ACU head coach , who is now 643-300-1 in his 17th season as the Wildcats' mentor. "And then our guys went out and put some runs on the board and Jordon was able to relax and go out and throw strikes. He threw well last year, but we didn't score any runs for him. If we can score runs for that guy, he'll have a big year."
After watching the Boll Weevils tie the game at 3-3, the Wildcats responded with two runs in the fifth with Giusti driving in to make it 4-3 and then Giusti scoring on a single to center field to push the lead to 5-3.
The Wildcats sent 11 batters to the plate in the sixth inning and came up with seven runs on only three hits while taking advantage of two errors on back-to-back plays by third baseman Taylor Eaves to open the inning, one walk and two hit by pitch. Leadoff hitter – who reached base in all five of his plate appearances and scored three runs – had an RBI hit by pitch, followed by an RBI walk by .
Giusti followed with his fourth hit, an RBI single before Eager drove in another run with a single to left-centerfield. Shortstop then drove in two runs with a double to right field to make it 11-3. then drove in the final run of the inning with a sacrifice fly that plated Eager.
Needing just one run in the bottom of the seventh to end the game on the run rule, the Wildcats immediately got that runner on base when was hit by a pitch. He moved to second on a wild pitch and was joined on base by Spivey, who walked. After Taylor lined out and Giusti grounded out, singled to right field to drive in Schuetze with the game-ending run.
Information provided by ACU athletics department.
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