WAXAHACHIE, Tex. — After splitting the opening two games of a four game set with the Southwestern Assemblies of God University Lions on Friday, the Central Christian College baseball team stormed out the gates on Saturday to take both games from the Lions and move to 3-1 on the season.
The Tigers rode a strong outing by Reggie Thomas in game one to defeat the Lions 12-5. Thomas went six strong for the Tigers allowing five runs, three of them earned, on six hits. He walked two and struck out four in earning his first win of the season.
Zane Howard was called upon to close things out in the bottom of the seventh. Howard got the Lions to go down in order, getting two of the hitters to strike out swinging, to secure the win for the Tigers.
Offensively, the hot bats belonged to Mario Rivera and Troy Carrigan. Rivera was 2 for 5 with two RBIs and a run scored, while Carrigan went 2 for 4 with three RBIs. The Tigers had just one extra base hit, a double by Kenny Cordova, who was 1 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored. Hunter Wilcher was the only other Tiger to register a hit. The Tigers got a lot of help from the Lions defense, which committed five errors in the game.
The Tigers got on the board first with a pair of runs in the top of the second inning. The Lions got half of those runs back in their half of the second. The third inning was scoreless but the Lions took the lead with one in the fourth and three more in the fifth.
Down 5 -2, the Tigers went to work in the top of the sixth and came away with four runs to retake the lead 6-5. They would need no more, as the Lions were held scoreless the rest of the way, but they tacked on six more in the top of the seventh for good measure.
It looked like the Lions might bounce back in the series finale, like the Tigers had done Friday night, after dropping the opening game. The Tigers got down 8-4, and it appeared they may leave Waxahachie with a series split. However, the Tigers rallied from four runs down to take the lead, and eventually run away with a 16-9 win.
Patrick Lujan was given the ball for the Tigers in game four. Lujan went three innings, giving up six runs on eight hits. He struck out four, but also gave up four free passes to first base. Head coach Derk Kremer went to the bull pen in the fourth inning after the Lions scored a pair of runs and were threatening more with nobody out. Kremer called on Landon Stevens to get the Tigers out of the jam and pitch the rest of the way. He ended up pitching four innings and was charged with three runs on two hits. He struck out two and walked two in earning the win.
After a slow start to the game, the Tiger offense really came alive in the second half of the game. They finished with 16 runs on 13 hits, led by a monster performance by senior third baseman Zane Howard. Howard recorded a 3 for 4 performance with a double, a home run, two RBIs and two runs scored. Three other Tigers had a multi-hit game including Shomari Cann and Caleb Gorman who were both 2 for 3, and Carrigan who had his second 2 for 4 game of the day. The other four hits were recorded by Rivera, Wilcher, Cordova, and Laramie Lumley.
From the fourth inning on, the Tiger offense started clicking. They scored two in the top of the fourth, eight in the top of the fifth, two more in the sixth, and two in the seventh. After scoring eight in the first four innings, the Lions managed to score just one more run in the final four innings.
"We had a great day today,"Kremer said. "We played well in all aspects of the game. We will get back at it on Monday to get prepared for next weekend against Benedictine College."
The Tigers are now 3-1 on the season and as Coach Kremer alluded to, they will be on the road next Friday and Saturday against Benedictine College.