2017 has been a year full of firsts for the Davidson baseball team.
The Wildcats are preparing for their first ever trip to the NCAA Tournament thanks to their first ever conference championship in the 115-year history of the program.
The team is giving at least some of the credit to a burrito stand.
“Everyone kept asking me what I was eating,” junior infielder Alec Acosta said. “I told them I was eating El Birdo’s burritos.”
They asked because Acosta kept hitting home runs.
“After I hit my first home run, I decided to keep going back,” Acosta said. “They just kept kind of falling in, and I was like, ‘alright I have to keep doing it.’ “
Acosta ate eight burritos in five days. During that stretch he also hit five home runs to lead Davidson to the Atlantic 10 title.
“It’s definitely a joke,” Acosta’s teammate Eric Jones said. “But also, it was a really unreal tournament for Alec and he ate eight burritos. So nobody is going to mess with that.”
Plans are in the works to continue the newly acquired superstition at this weekend’s NCAA regional.
“Parents are already trying to figure out what burrito place we’re going to in Chapel Hill for me to eat every day that we’re here,” Acosta said. “So it’s just been great all around.”
With a matchup against one of the best teams in the country looming, it still hasn’t sunk in for many of the Davidson players.
“I think a lot of the guys are still in shock that we’ve made it this far,” junior outfielder Cam Johnson said. “We’ve been a part of program history.”
History for Coach Dick Cooke too. He’s been at Davidson for 27 years. He says his phone has been blowing up with support.
“I’ve heard from players that are flying in, that might have gotten ten at-bats in their career here,” Cooke said. “I’ve heard from players that hardly sniffed the field, and they are so jacked up.”
Davidson and Goliath, North Carolina, face off Friday at 6 p.m. in Chapel Hill.