|Posted February 23, 2008|
Pack splits a pair with Highlands
In what's quickly turning into a possible preview of an RMAC Championship, CSU-Pueblo and New Mexico Highlands battled again Saturday, splitting a non-conference doubleheader in Las Vegas, N.M.
In the opener, the ThunderWolves drew first blood, getting a gift wild pitch while runners stood on second and third, allowing lead-runner Jon Proesl to score and give the Pack an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first.
Starter Nick Balentine threw well before the wheels started to come off in the bottom of the fourth. After the ThunderWolves extended their lead to 3-0, Balentine let three runners reach, prompting a change to middle reliever Chris Garcia. Garcia responded with absolutely lights out baseball, only allowing three hits in 3-1/3 innings of scoreless baseball, fueling the Pack's win.
The late game, though, was more of a dodge ball match by the Pack, trying to cauterize the wounds being dealt by a tough Highlands offense.
Highlands came through with 11 hits on Pack starter, Joe Proto, but habitually stranded runners on base all game long. In fact, the Pack led 2-1 in the fifth. But a tough 5th inning in which Proto gave up three runs on four hits broke the Pack's back, sending the game to a loss.
The split knocks the Pack back to 7-3 overall and Highlands to 8-2. The ThunderWolves will look to even the series with a win in the series-closer Sunday.