|Posted May 4, 2012|
ThunderWolves settle for split with Metro State
Pack now set up for first-round playoff showdown with Regis.
DENVER, Colo. (GoThunderWolves.com - May 4, 2012) - Two late comebacks by the ThunderWolves produced differing results Friday as CSU-Pueblo split a pair of one-run games with Metro State, winning 8-7 in 10 innings before falling 10-9 in walk-off fashion in the late game.
In the early showdown, CSU-Pueblo rode a strong start from pitcher Mike Fabrizio (So., Pueblo, Colo.) to a 5-1 lead in the sixth inning before the starting pitching began to wear down.
Metro State plated three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to cut the Pack lead to 5-4. After the ThunderWolves scored two in the top of the seventh inning, benefitting from RBI by J.T. Greenhood (Sr., Pueblo, Colo.) and Jovany Valenzuela (Jr., Tucson, Ariz.), Metro State again dinged CSU-Pueblo for three runs, running the score to 7-7 and leaving Fabrizio with a no-decision.
The score remained knotted at 7-7 until the top of the 10th inning, when a leadoff single by Mike Knueppel (Jr., Mesa, Ariz.) helped set up the game-winning RBI by Andrew Castaneda (Sr., San Jose, Calif.), which was held down by Kyle Ginter (Jr., Chino Hills, Calif.), who claimed the win on the mound.
In the early game, Castaneda equalled a school record with seven official at bats, turning in hits four times and recording a team-high three RBI.
In the late game, the ThunderWolves started off well once again, jumping out to a 5-2 lead after three innings. But a six-run fourth inning by Metro State put the ThunderWolves on the defensive, leaving them aiming for a big play for the duration of the game to get back into it.
That big play finally came in the most important at bat of the game, as pinch-hitter Derek DiCarlo (Jr., Louisville, Colo.) came to the plate with the bases loaded and two out in the top of the 7th inning as the ThunderWolves trailed 9-6 with only one out left to spare in the game.
DiCarlo came through with a base-clearing double, tying the game at 9-9 and seemingly setting up another extra-inning ending.
But that was all for naught as leadoff single by Metro State's Mitch Gibbons, followed by a sacrifice bunt and a balk, put a runner on third with just one out. The Pack would intentionally walk the next two batters, but walk in the winning run, falling 10-9.
The split, however, combined with a split by Regis vs. Nebraska-Kearney Friday, assured the ThunderWolves of a first-round showdown with Regis at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 9 at the RMAC Tournament, hosted by CSU-Pueblo.
The Pack will close out its regular season Saturday with another doubleheader with Metro State.