‘Cats Blast Six Home Runs to Win, Clinch Series
The Wildcats improved to 4-3, while Lafayette fell to 1-6.
Cotrone hit a grand slam in the second inning and ultimately drove in seven runs, while Reeves hit two home runs — the first of his career — in an eight-run eighth inning that also included blasts by Michael Carico and Henry Koehler.
“Just having that little glimpse of success early, we exploded off of that,” said Cotrone.
Cotrone nearly matched the school record with two grand slams in the same game, but while at-bat with the bases loaded in the sixth, he watched Ryan Wilson steal home.
“I was shocked because he did a fake break initially,” said Cotrone. “I caught movement again and thought he was faking again, but sure enough, he just broke for home.”
Cotrone homered on the next pitch to make it 8-3 with his third blast of the season.
“Just getting to see that from on-deck was something awesome,” said Reeves.
Reeves, who got his first career hit (double) in Saturday’s win, led off the eighth with a solo shot to right field, and before he could get his batting gloves off, Carico hit one out to center, his third of the season. Nick Calero walked and Ryan Wilson doubled before Koehler went deep with a three-run blast, his first of the season, to make it 16-3. Then Jacob Hinderleider (single) and Jacob Friend (walk) reached base before Reeves returned to the plate and hit a three-run shot, this time to right-center.
“Landon has just been crushing it,” said Cotrone.
The Wildcats also had a three-run seventh, highlighted by Hinderleider’s two-run double.
While the Wildcats had plenty of offense, they also shut down the Leopards.
On the mound, Bennett Flynn made his first career start and threw three innings, allowing four hits and an earned run and striking out five.
Brycen Champey allowed just one hit and one earned run over the next four frames, while striking out four and earning his first career win. And Jacob Peaden pitched the scoreless eighth and ninth, striking out four and allowing three hits.
“We got better over the course of the weekend,” said coach Rucker Taylor. “Today, in particular, we saw a lot of progress individually and collectively. Champ gave us a huge lift.”