Liam McFadden-Ackman can now have his name uttered in the same sentence as Fernando Tatis for at least one accomplishment.
Northern Kentucky’s infielder blasted two grand slams in the same inning Sunday, keying a 14-run opening frame in a game that eventually ended with McFadden-Ackman hitting for the cycle. The Mason, Ohio native went 5-for-6 with 10 RBIs, lifted his batting average from .176 to .348 and ended the evening with an appearance on SportsCenter.
“I kind of blacked out there if I’m being honest with you,” McFadden-Ackman said after the game, according to WCPO 9 News in Cincinnati. “But it was great to come back to the dugout and celebrate with my guys.”
McFadden-Ackman slotted into the Norse’s lineup as the designated hitter and hit fourth to close the three-game, weekend series against Western Michigan. He blasted a homer to left that gave Northern Kentucky a 4-0 lead before the Broncos even recorded an out. Western Michigan still hadn’t recorded an out when McFadden-Ackman strolled to the plate for the second time in the inning, and he proceeded to launch another ball toward the left-field fence.
This time, though, he didn’t know the ball had cleared the wall until after rounding first base.
“You just don’t realize what’s going on in the moment until you get a step back and reflect on the day,” McFadden-Ackman told SportsCenter that night. “It’s amazing. Definitely the best day I’ve ever had on a baseball field for sure.”
McFadden-Ackman estimated that his phone buzzed with over 100 messages from family and friends following the game. His accomplishment had started to gain traction, but at the micro level, Northern Kentucky — a program that hasn’t won more than 19 games in a year since 2017 — improved to 6-1 on its young season. McFadden-Ackman, Perfect Game’s No. 13 second baseman in Ohio when he graduated from Mason High School, has already connected on four homers through the seven games, too.
“The team’s really coming together,” McFadden-Ackman said. “And I think today just shows all of our hard work from the offseason and all the hard work we’ve put in since August and it’s finally coming to fruition. It’s really great to see.”
Tatis, the father of Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr., blasted his two grand slams against the Dodgers in 1999, when he played for the Cardinals. Tatis Jr. then hit two home runs — though not in the same inning — at Dodger Stadium on the 22-year anniversary of his father’s accomplishment.
“I definitely knew this was the day,” Tatis Jr. said that night, according to MLB.com. “I told myself: Imagine if you hit two home runs today. That would be so crazy.”
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