McMurry University did not stand a chance against Wildcat starter Jordon Herrera and reliever Carter Hahn. The duo combined to punch out 16 War Hawks in a 10-2 blowout win on Sunday.
Herrera and Hahn came only two strikeouts short of tying an ACU single-game record, 18 by the 1993 team against Texas A&M University-Kingsville.
“I came out this offseason trying to right the wrong from last season,” Herrera said. “Pitching coach Elliott Cribby has really helped us out and you can see an improvement in the entire staff.”
The ‘Cats improved to 5-4 after the victory and remain undefeated (7-0) in their history versus McMurry.
“I think our guys played with a lot of energy,” said head coach Britt Bonneau. “That’s good to have when you’re playing a crosstown team.”
Herrera now has a perfect 3-0 record and fanned seven batters in 5.0 innings of work. His only trouble spot was in the fourth when he hit McMurry’s leadoff hitter then two batters later gave up a two-run bomb to left field.
Hahn took over for Herrera in the sixth and struck out nine War Hawks while allowing just two hits in his first save of the season.
Offensively, the Wildcats jumped all over McMurry’s pitchers. The squad whacked nine hits and were aided by five McMurry errors to go along with nine walks.
Travis Schuetze, Rodge Macy and Chuck Duarte all recorded two hits apiece and infielder Seth Spivey scored three ACU runs.
The ‘Cats pulled away in the sixth with three runs crossing the board to make their lead 7-2. The team then added more fuel to the fire when they scored three more runs between the seventh and eighth innings.
Duarte knocked in Schuetze on a RBI single to make it 8-2 in the seventh and in the eighth, a walk and an error led to the final two runs.
“Having Kyle Giusti back in the lineup, who was out with an injury for 14 days, has really helped,” Bonneau said. “We’ve got guys hitting in the seven, eight and nine holes who were in the top of the lineup last year. When they stick to their game, they can score a lot of runs.”
Herrera has enjoyed the offensive production early this year.
“It’s great when you have an offense,” he said. “It makes you want to throw strikes. It takes a lot of pressure off the pitcher when you can score runs.”
ACU plays a four-game series against New Mexico Highlands University this weekend at Crutcher Scott Field. Game times are 7 p.m. Friday, a doubleheader Saturday beginning at 2 p.m. and a 1 p.m. Sunday start.
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