Tuesday proved to be a monumental day for junior first baseman Kyle Stacken.
Stacken hit three homeruns in the Tigers 20-8 win over the Roadrunners of Metro State College on Tuesday in Larks Park.
The game was a close battle until the third inning, when MSU scored five runs and took a 7-4 lead.
These proved to be the last runs for the Roadrunners due to shutout pitching by junior Kyle Oestreicher and overwhelming offense by the Tigers, led by Stacken.
The Tigers scored two runs in the bottom of the third, five runs in the bottom of the fourth, six runs in the bottom of the fifth and three runs in the bottom of the sixth.
Stacken ended the game going 4-of-4 from the plate, which included three homeruns and an RBI double.
Stacken hit a 3-RBI homerun in the first, a single RBI homerun in the third and a 2-RBI homerun in the fourth.
This season, Stacken leads the Tigers in homeruns, RBIs, and batting average.
“I was just seeing the ball well and hit a few good ones exactly how I wanted to,” Stacken said.
Coach Rick Sabath took notice of Stacken’s success as well.
“(Stacken) had a career-topping performance, and I couldn’t be happier for him. He is a team captain and he is doing an outstanding job,” Sabath said.
Oestreicher relieved junior pitcher Andrew Hawkins in the bottom of the third and ended MSU’s run. He struck out three consecutive batters after Hawkins gave up four hits and five runs.
Oestreicher picked up the win after surrendering two hits and no runs in four innings of work.
The Tigers’ first part of their doubleheader proved just as successful, winning by a score of 6-5.
FHSU built a 6-2 lead after six innings, but MSU battled back in the seventh.
Senior pitcher Mat Atkinson relieved senior pitcher Matt Augustine at the beginning of the seventh inning, but he struggled, giving up five hits and three runs.
However, Atkinson managed to close out the game as he forced a groundout with two MSU runners left on base.
Augustine surrendered only four hits and two runs after pitching the first six innings of the game.
Sophomore centerfielder Nash Smith had three RBIs in the game. Smith had a solo homerun in the third inning and 2-RBI double in the fourth inning.
FHSU is now on a three-game winning streak and has advanced to 15-5.
The Tigers were going to play another game on Wednesday at home against Tabor College, but it was canceled due to rain. It will not be rescheduled.
Stacken is very optimistic about the Tigers’ future success.
“I think we have had a good start, and I think if we keep pulling away like we have and are capable of, then we will do just fine,” Stacken said.
The Tigers (8-4 Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association, 15-5) will compete in conference play this weekend at Southwest Baptist University (2-14 MIAA, 3-20) in Bolivar, Mo.
They will play a pair of doubleheaders. The first will be at 1 p.m. on Friday, and the second is scheduled for noon on Saturday.