Holgate hits for cycle in UWA win over Spring Hill

Published 9:09 am Thursday, April 17, 2014

Mitch Holgate became the first player in West Alabama history to hit for the cycle as the Tigers defeated Spring Hill, 12-0, Wednesday at Galle Field.

Holgate not only hit for the cycle, he also reached base six times in six at bats, drove in four runs, scored four runs and stole a base. The sophomore from Windsor, Ontario, Canada tripled in the first inning, singled in the fifth, homered in the seventh and doubled in the eighth. The homer was his seventh.

“That’s something I can cross of my bucket list now,” Holgate said. “It’s something you dream of and it feels amazing.

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“I have come close before but have never been able to hit for the cycle,” Holgate said. “I wasn’t thinking about the cycle in my last at bat, but fortunately the pitch was outside and I was able to go with it and drive it for the double.”

The win improved West Alabama to 26-11, while Spring Hill dropped to 26-21. The Tigers return to Gulf South Conference play Friday at second-ranked West Florida. First pitch for the doubleheader is 2 p.m.

Holgate’s accomplishment overshadowed other solid performances by several Tigers. Tanner Rainey had two doubles, a single and reached base five times. Eddie Kieffer and Joel Murphy had two hits each in a 19-hit UWA attack.

“What can you say about that performance by Mitch Holgate,” UWA head coach Gary Rundles said. “To be the first player in the history of the program to accomplish something as big as hitting for the cycle is something special.”

UWA starter Steven Glasgow (2-0) was one of four UWA pitchers to combine for an eight-hit shutout. Glasgow worked six innings, didn’t walk a batter and struck out two. Spring Hill starter Hunter Nowak (5-4) was tagged for six earned runs in the first two innings in taking the loss.

“I was proud of our total team effort today,” Rundles said. “We did a lot of things well at the plate and on the mound. Nineteen hits while the pitching staff is putting up zeros makes this a total team win.”

West Alabama staked Glasgow to a 6-0 lead, getting six hits and sending 11 batters to the plate in the top of the first inning. The Tigers scored a single run in the fifth, three more in the seventh and two in the eighth.

Taylor Eads had three hits to lead Spring Hill.