BOCA RATON — Florida Atlantic’s Caleb Pendleton hit grand slams in his first two collegiate plate appearances Saturday night, both in the same inning.
Playing in his first game, the freshman connected with the bases loaded twice during a 12-run second inning against UCF during a 20-15 victory.
“The second one, it didn’t really feel real running around first base,” he said.
“Nothing I could ever dream of,” he added. “That’s definitely more than I ever thought would happen preparing for today. I never thought I’d be going up for my third at-bat with two grand slams already. That was pretty cool.”
The right-handed hitter crushed the second slam — 15 minutes after the first — to left-center, clearing a row of palm trees behind the outfield fence.
“Unbelievable,” FAU coach John McCormack said. “I’ve never seen it. You’d have to look at some record books. He hit the first one, then it lines up and the guys were talking about (a second). (Outfielder) Bobby Morgensen was sitting next to me and says, ‘This is not really going to happen again?’ And sure enough, it happened.”
Pendleton hit two flyouts and struck out in his final three at-bats. Pendleton said he was visibly nervous before first pitch, and teammates razzed him after the first slam about his jitters.
His feat was headline news by the end of the game, and he said he anticipated his phone going “crazy” in the clubhouse. He didn’t get to check before speaking with reporters.
“I’ll have to lay in bed tonight and look at all the notifications and stuff,” he said.
As a high school senior at Jensen Beach, Pendleton was rated as the No. 3 catcher in the state of Florida by Perfect Game and was twice named a PG Preseason All-American.