The calendar has turned to May, which for many students means it’s time for final exams. Though some schools turned their attention to the books last week and gave their athletic teams a rest, several teams with future Bombers took to the field for important conference battles.
Scooter Hicks and his Missouri Tigers visited Austin to take on the Texas Longhorns in a battle of the top two teams in the Big 12. Mizzou took two out of three games from the first-place Longhorns, and Hicks had a hand in each victory. On Friday, Hicks entered the game in the seventh inning and delivered a scoreless inning, helping the Tigers take their fourth straight from Texas. Hicks was even more involved in Sunday’s victory, defusing a Longhorn rally and picking up his second save of the season. After Texas pushed a run across in the eighth inning to narrow the Missouri lead to 5-4, Hicks entered the game with two runners on. He coaxed an easy fly ball to left, then pitched a scoreless ninth to give Missouri the series win.
Even though Temple has struggled in Atlantic 10 play, someone forgot to tell shortstop Ryan Weber. The Owls stumbled through a 1-3 week, but Weber went 7-for-17 (.412) and scored five runs. Ironically, the only game Temple won, a Friday victory over Fordham, saw Weber go hitless. But he managed multiple-hit games in each of the other three contests, including a 3-for-4 outing on Saturday. With a .358 average, Weber leads the Owls in batting and is seventh in the Atlantic 10 conference. He also ranks among the conference leaders in hits (68, fourth) and runs (41, eleventh).
Closer to home, Texas A&M swept visiting Dallas Baptist, with a little help from some future Bombers. Dane Carter had a big weekend, picking up his first home run as an Aggie and playing in all three games. Starting at third base on Thursday night, Carter managed a hit and a walk in five plate appearances, scoring two runs. He reached base to lead off the ninth inning, sparking a two-run rally that saw A&M tie the score, then capture the win in the twelfth. Carter’s best performance was on Saturday, when he came off the bench to spell Brian Ruggiano and finished with two runs scored and three RBI. In the fifth inning, he crushed an offering over the right field fence for a two-run homer, capping a six-run Aggie inning. Teammate and fellow Bomber Daman Aaron also saw some playing time over the weekend, scoring a run in five weekend plate appearances.
Head coach Kevin Moulder, currently an assistant with Central Missouri, also had a productive week. His Mules took two of three games from Northwest Missouri State to capture another MIAA regular season conference title. With a conference record of 28-6, Central Missouri won the MIAA by five games and won the right to host the conference tournament this weekend. The Mules will take on fourth-place Fort Hays State in their first-round matchup on Friday. Central Missouri finished the regular season with an overall record of 46-9, climbing two spots to 7th in the national Division II poll.
Finals might have sent several future Bombers to the classroom last week, but they’ll be returning this weekend with key conference matchups. Look for Jess Buenger and Rice as they take on Tulane, and Will Currier and Duke as they host Virginia Tech. Other future Bombers will be involved in important late-season games as well, and of course there are still more Bombers to introduce. So stay tuned and keep your eyes on bvbombers.com!