Texas A&M and Georgia sat through a lightning delay early in a Wednesday morning game at the Southeastern Conference baseball tournament.
All the while, the Aggies were conjuring up some lightning of their own in the form of left-handed pitcher Asa Lacy.
Lacy, a 6-foot-4 freshman from Kerrville Tivy, threw six scoreless innings as the Aggies defeated the Georgia Bulldogs, 7-0, remaining undefeated in the SEC’s postseason event at Hoover, Ala.
Powered by two late home runs from Chris Andritsos, A&M improved to 2-0 after wins over Vanderbilt and Georgia. The Aggies are scheduled to play either Auburn or Ole Miss Thursday afternoon.
“Georgia played really well against us at their place (in March),” A&M coach Rob Childress told SEC Network broadcasters. “(They) got after us in two of those three games. I felt like Asa Lacy was a great matchup for ’em, and he didn’t disappoint.
“Even in the midst of another rain delay, he just had a fabulous performance.”
Lacy was backed by Cason Sherrod, who pitched three scoreless innings of relief, and also by Andritsos, who hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning and followed with a solo shot in the ninth.
But Lacy’s performance emerged as the surprise of the day.
In only his second start of the season, Lacy shut out Georgia on three hits. He walked three and struck out eight. Georgia entered its first game of the tournament batting .286 as a team and averaging 6.35 runs.
“I felt pretty locked in, trusting the pitches that are being called, and knowing if they hit it, it’s going to our defense and we’re going to make the play,” Lacy said.
Broadcasters had some fun with Lacy in the post-game interview.
“Do you know how many strikeouts you had today?” one asked.
“No I don’t,” Lacy responded.
“How many do you think you had?” he was asked.
“I think like six,” Lacy said.
Oblivious to the statistical details, Lacy admitted that he was just focused on the task at hand.
“Just locked in on the glove, and it worked out today,” he said.
In his 23rd appearance, Lacy entererd the game with a 2-1 record and a 3.24 earned run average. His only previous start came on May 1 at home against Prairie View A&M.
He has made several appearances in the past few weeks out of the bullpen, including outings against SEC foes Florida, Arkansas and South Carolina.
Last Friday, pitching at home against South Carolina, he worked two innings against the Gamecocks, yielding two hits and a run (none earned), while walking two. He also struck out two.
Lacy grew up in the Texas Hill Country, where he lettered three years for the Kerrville Tivy Antlers.
Last year, he won a school-record 13 games en route to earning Class 5A all-state honors.
He was 13-1 with an 0.93 ERA as a high school senior. Lacy was drafted on the 31st round by the Cleveland Indians, but he elected to attend A&M, where he is majoring in university studies.
Lacy was coached in high school by Chris Russ, who played at A&M from 1998-2001.
SEC baseball tournament
At Hoover, Ala.
(With tournament seeds)
(11) Texas A&M 7, (3) Georgia 0
(7) Auburn 9, (2) Ole Miss 3
(1) Florida 4, (8) LSU 3
(5) South Carolina vs. (4) Arkansas
Ole Miss vs. Georgia, 9:30 a.m.
LSU vs. South Carolina or Arkansas, to follow
(11) Texas A&M vs. (7) Auburn, 4:30 p.m.
Florida vs. South Carolina or Arkansas, to follow