For the first time since 2010, the East Central University baseball team opened the season with a win and ended up splitting the two-game series at Cameron. The Tigers (1-1) earned a 6-1 win in the opening game and then fell 6-7 in 10 innings.
ECU was led on the mound by senior Lucas Kaplan, who threw a complete-game win in the opener. Kaplan allowed one run and three hits, while striking out five. It was his fourth career complete game and second against Cameron. Senior Oscar Gomez started the second game of the day, throwing the first 5.1 innings, allowing three runs and four hits and striking out four.
At the plate, The Tigers were led by senior Luc Pomales, with three hits, one run and one RBI. He was among a group of six players with two or more hits in the series, with seniors Bryce McKee and David Terrazas each earning two hits and two runs.
ECU will remain on the road next weekend when they travel to Farmers Branch, Texas for the Dallas Christian College Tournament, Feb. 6-7. The Tigers will face Hannibal-LaGrange College and Tabor College Feb. 6 and Dallas Christian and Midland (Neb.) Feb. 7.
Game 1 - ECU 6, Cameron 1
The Aggies (1-1) were the first to get on the scoreboard, earning a run in the bottom of the first inning due to an error.
However, the Tigers responded with a roar and scored six runs in the top of the second to gain a 6-1 advantage. Terrazas started things going for ECU after the first two outs when he drew a walk. McKee then singled to the pitcher and senior Cale Russell was walked to load the bases. That allowed senior Eric Swann to earn the first RBI of the season when he was walked.
Senior Casey Chenoweth kept things rolling with a single through the left side for an RBI. Senior Dustin Torres added an RBI with a single to center and senior Garrett Donohoe tallied an RBI with a single to left field. The bases were still loaded when senior Nick Spini was walked for the fifth run of the inning. The final run was sent home by Pomales, on a single to left field.
That was all the scoring that would be allowed the rest of the game.
Cameron had runners on second base in the third and fourth innings, but the Tigers defense kicked in and held them without a run.
Game 2 - Cameron 7, ECU 6 (10 innings)
The Tigers were the first to strike in the second game, earning a run in the top of the first inning. Senior Ariel Adut started the game by drawing a walk and then stole second and third after the first out. Donohoe was then walked to put runners on the corners. Spini earned his second RBI of the day with a sacrifice fly to center for the 1-0 lead.
Cameron responded immediately with a run in the bottom of the first and then took a 1-2 advantage with a run in the third.
While ECU had runners in scoring position in the fourth, it took until the top of the sixth inning. Pomales led off with a single through the left side and was sent to third when Terrazas hit a single to right field. Pomales scored and Terrazas was sent to second on a wild pitch.
McKee was added to the base path when he was hit and the bases were loaded when junior Casey Kenney earned a single but to the pitcher. Junior Gavin Susca gave the Tigers the 3-2 lead with a sacrifice fly to center field.
The Aggie countered to tie the game in the bottom of the sixth with a single run and added a run in the seventh for a 3-4 advantage.
ECU came back in the eighth, scoring three runs for a 6-4 lead. McKee started the scoring by hitting the first home run of the season for the Tigers, a solo mark to left field. Kenney followed with a single to left and stole second. Junior Gavin Susca was added to the bases with a walk and Adut loaded the bases with a single to center field.
Senior Andrew Ayrado earned the next RBI with a single to right field and Donohoe sent the final run home with a sacrifice fly to right.
However the lead was short lived as Cameron tallied two runs in the bottom of the eighth to knot the game at six.
The game went into the 10th inning, where ECU had an opportunity to score, but was called for interference. The Aggies then loaded the bases in the bottom of the 10th and scored on a sacrifice fly for the 6-7 final.