February 17, 2012

ThunderWolves drop season opener

Early 6-0 deficit too much to overcome for Pack.


PUEBLO, Colo. (GoThunderWolves.com - Feb. 17, 2012) - Opening Day wasn't kind to CSU-Pueblo Friday as an early 6-0 deficit was enough to do the Pack in during a 7-5 loss to Montana State, Billings.

A three-run second inning by the Yellow Jackets, which included a leadoff home run by Matt Comer, doomed the Opening Day start for junior Jeremiah Struble (Jr., Divide, Colo.), who hung for four innings and gave up six runs, walking six Yellow Jacket batters in the process.

The second half of the game was all ThunderWolves, however, as Kyle Clemens (Jr., Colorado Springs, Colo.) was lights out in long relief, pitching five innings without allowing a hit, striking out two and walking only one batter.

Clemens' performance allowed the Pack to make a run at it down the stretch, falling just short of overtaking the lead.  The Pack was primed for a big inning in the eighth when, trailing 7-3, the inning's first three runners reached base, the last of which was an RBI double by Chase Lacomb (Jr., Las Vegas, Nev.) that brought the Pack to within 7-4 with no outs.

But a lineout followed by a sacrifice fly by Nick Cervantes (Sr., Placentia, Calif.) brought the Pack to within two, 7-5, albeit with two sudden outs.  It was enough to kill the Pack's momentum, as they went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth as Billings' Bobby Ragasa secured the save.

The loss breaks a streak of eight straight opening day wins for the ThunderWolves, last losing a season opener in 2004 to Northern Colorado. 

The ThunderWolves will continue its four-game series with Montana State Billings Saturday with a doubleheader at 12 p.m.