NORMAN — After competing in the Heartland Classic last summer, Team Maryland’s Brady Acker was eager to come back this year. The Atholton High graduate said the competition, the host families and seeing where his state stacked up against the best baseball talent from other states were a few of his motives.
However, the No. 1 objective that fueled Acker’s travel from Columbia, Md. to Norman this week was plain and simple revenge.
“I think just getting revenge on some of the teams that beat us,” Acker said. “Just want to beat some of these teams that beat us last year.”
Maryland got off to a good start on its revenge tour when it beat Oklahoma and Georgia on the first day of the tournament. Acker was even hotter by blasting two home runs on the day.
“I am definitely hitting the ball a lot better than I have,” Acker said. “If I can keep swinging like this and we keep pitching, I think we have a chance of winning it all.”
Maryland came back down to earth a little when it took on Texas Wednesday morning at Norman North. Several defensive miscues and Texas’ strong hitting handed Maryland a 11-1 defeat in six innings.
Yet, Acker was still able to produce two hits and scored the team’s only run.
“He’s played outstanding,” Maryland coach Brian Femi said. “One of the coaches made the comment, ‘If I hit the ball as good as he did on any of his swings the last two days, I’d be tickled to death.’ Even when he’s getting out, he’s hitting the ball on the nose. But on top of that, he’s a quality young man. Proud to have him on the team.”
When Acker is finished with summer baseball, he will be heading to Fairfax, Va., where he will be a freshman playing baseball at George Mason University. The prospect of playing ball at the next level was something that started to creep into his mind early in his prep career.