|Posted February 8, 2008|
Dirtbags "return home," defeats CSU-San Bernardino
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. - To those of us in
Colorado, the CSU-Pueblo baseball team seemed like it was making a
far, out of the way trek as it made its way to California for a
season-opening date with Cal State-San Bernardino Friday.
But to many on the Pack roster, it was a homecoming.
With no sense of homesickness, the ThunderWolves handed CSUSB its first loss of the season, snapping the team's 5-0 start to claim a 7-2 victory.
San Bernardino native, Juan Gomez, shined in his first start in a Pack uniform, allowing only five hits in eight innings of work, earning the win. His performance was nothing short of masterful, considering it was the first game of the season, Pack coach Stan Sanchez said.
"Juan was like a surgeon out there," Sanchez said. "He cut them up. We haven't seen a performance like that this early in the season in a few years here, and it was incredible to watch."
Gomez benefited from an amped-up Pack offense, which stormed out of the gate to put up two runs in the top of the first on three singles. All of this was done against CSUSB's number-one pitcher, Matt Long, who found the pine after just 5-2/3 innings.
"[CSU-San Bernardino] is a good team," Sanchez said. "They have 19 seniors, and they were on a roll. Long is one of the top pitchers in the California Collegiate Athletic Association, and we did a really good job offensively against him."
The Pack's leadoff hitter, RMAC preseason all-conference selection, Rutger Bovard, proved the catalyst for the Pack's offense, going 2-for-5 on the afternoon and scoring one run while knocking in another. Second baseman, Mike Sanchez, went 1-for-3 and crossed home twice, drawing two walks as well.
And another San Bernardino native, Ryan Wager, came through with a back-breaking RBI double in the 7th inning that helped extend the Pack's advantage to 7-2. He reached base three times, including once as a hit batsman in which he stole second and eventually advanced all the way to score.
"[The Pack players from San Bernardino] had a lot of families here to watch them and it gave us a pretty nice crowd rooting for us," Sanchez said. "I think it built some adrenaline for them, and they were really focused and I think that had a lot to do with our win."
The win marks the fifth straight season that the ThunderWolves have opened the season with a win.
The Pack will take on CSUSB once again tomorrow afternoon, then take on Cal Poly-Pomona in the late game, played on a neutral field in San Bernardino.