|Posted April 20, 2012|
Breakout eighth inning saves "Pack the Park"
ThunderWolves post eight runs in eighth to upend Mines 13-5.
PUEBLO, Colo. (GoThunderWolves.com - April 20, 2012) - CSU-Pueblo turned a would-be upset on its ear Friday in its signature "Pack the Park" game with Colorado School of Mines, posting eight runs in the eighth inning to claim a 13-5 win.
As starting pitcher Mike Fabrizio (So., Pueblo, Colo.) was pushed to over 140 pitches and slowly began to erode, giving up five runs through six innings after holding the Orediggers scoreless over the first three frames, he was in dire need of offensive support to lift the team out of a hole.
With the Pack trailing by one in the 7th inning, Fabrizio finally got his wish as Jovany Valenzuela (Jr., Tucson, Ariz.) absolutely hammered a line drive solo home run over the scoreboard in right centerfield, tying the game at 5-5 an inning after Mines took its first lead of the game.
Though he was huffing and puffing, Fabrizio continued to remain in the game with the score tied and a no-decision or even a loss looking him square in the face.
He was almost hooked in the eighth when he allowed the first three hitters to reach base as Mines had the bases loaded with nobody out. After lulling Justin Williams into a foul out at third base, Fabrizio recaptured his command and struck out the next two batters to end the inning unscathed.
The new momentum carried over to the bottom half of the eighth inning when the Pack offense opened up huge.
It started innocently enough with a walk issued to Brandon Evans (Jr., Las Vegas, Nev.) followed by a sacrifice bunt that moved him to second.
With a runner on second, Mines chose to intentionally walk eight-hole hitter Vinnie Mattivi (Sr., Pueblo, Colo.) to create a double play situation and face Derek DiCarlo (Jr., Louisville, Colo.), who despite his .380 average entering play Friday, looked baffled in striking out twice.
But the move blew up in Mines' faces as DiCarlo ripped a double down the leftfield line, scoring Evans and handing the Pack the lead.
From there, the hits didn't seem to stop.
After a wild inning, which also included a two-run double by J.T. Greenhood (Sr., Pueblo, Colo.) and a three-run triple by Curtis Cowell (Jr., Monrovia, Calif.), the Pack suddenly hung eight on the Orediggers and broke the game open 13-5.
Nick Flory (Jr., Chico, Calif.) quickly sat the Orediggers down in the 9th to preserve the win for Fabrizio (7-3) and the ThunderWolves.
The "Pack the Park" win, taking place in front of 2,005 fans, officially clinched a spot in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Tournament, as well as moved the ThunderWolves to 24-15 on the season.
The Pack will look to build off its "Pack the Park" momentum with a doubleheader against Mines Saturday afternoon, starting at 1 p.m.