GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - CSU-Pueblo had an opportunity to slay the dragon Saturday vs. No. 3 Mesa State, but in each game of the doubleheader, the Pack couldn't hold two late-inning leads, dropping two games to the Mavericks.
In the first game, a 3-1 Pack lead was squandered when Mesa State put up four runs in the bottom of the 7th inning, the game ending on a dramatic three-run home run by Kurt Becker that delivered the 5-3 victory for the Mavericks.
In game two, a 9-8 ThunderWolf lead in extra innings was undone first by an RBI triple by Craig Lanzarotta, tying the game at nine, and led to an RBI groundout by Chris Cassell that scored Lanzarotta and delivered a second dramatic win for the Mavericks.
The two dramatic endings paled the effective performances turned in by a number of ThunderWolves, namely game one starting pitcher Dillon Meaney (Jr., Westminster, Colo.) and a four-hit effort in game two by Matt Wismann (Sr., Palo Alto, Calif.).
Meaney suffered his first loss of the season despite pitching 6-1/3 strong innings against the top-hitting the team in the country, allowing just six hits and only one run through the first six frames.
Wismann's four-hit game came as part of a 5-for-8 day overall, joining with a solo homer in game one, his third dinger of the season.
As a team, the ThunderWolves did its best to rally in game two, falling early 5-1 before surging to the lead late in the game.
Tied 7-7 after five innings, an RBI single by Dan Ninomiya (Jr., Woodinville, Wash.) gave the Pack an 8-7 lead. After Mesa State tied the ball game at 8 in the bottom of the 7th, a Mesa State error allowed Zach Hoffman (Jr., Pueblo West, Colo.) to score all the way from first base. But it was all just the appetizer to an unfortunate comeback by the Mavericks.
CSU-Pueblo will look to avoid the sweep Sunday in a noon time start vs. the Mavericks.