LUBBOCK, Texas (February 24, 2017) – In the first test of their four-game series, Colorado State University-Pueblo Baseball bested Lubbock Christian University 4-3 Friday.
Tied at 3-3, the Pack scored the decisive run in the eighth inning to defeat the Chapparals. The win sends the Pack to 5-6 overall. Lubbock Christian fell to 8-5.
Jason Lighthall (Jr., Littleton, Colo.) earned his first win for the Pack in a third of an inning of relief of Kyle Lazcano (Sr., Anaheim Hills, Calif.). Lazcano lasted 6.2 innings, the first six of which were scoreless. He struck out seven batters while issuing four walks and four hits in a no-decision.
Bret Ricklefs (Jr., Topeka, Kan.) threw two scoreless innings to earn his first save with the Pack. Ricklefs struck out three and only allowed one base runner on a walk. Reagan Lucia took the loss for Lubbock Christian.
Brandon Castaneda (Sr., Azusa, Calif.) went 3-for-4 at the plate with a run scored. Castaneda also drove in a run as he elevated his batting average to .325.
Senior Derron Davis (Las Vegas, Nev.) drove in the game-winning run on his only hit of the game. Davis now has a hit in nine of 11 games this season.
It looked like the Chaps would take an early lead. The first two Lubbock Christian batters reach base and moved into scoring position before the Pack got an out. Lazcano worked his way out of trouble with a strikeout and two infield groundouts.
The ThunderWolves struck first. In the top of the second inning, Charles Steele (Jr., Encino, Calif.) drove in his first run with the Pack with a single that brought in Castaneda.
CSU-Pueblo added to its advantage in the third. Zach Hoffman (Jr., South Jordan, Utah) and Gilbert Sauceda (So., Indio, Calif.) each singled to start the inning. Ambrose Romero (Jr., Albuquerque, N.M.) plated Hoffman with a groundout. Sauceda came around on a Castaneda base hit to give the Pack a 3-0.
After allowing just six base runners and no runs through the first six innings, Lazcano could not put away the Chaps in the seventh. Lubbock Christian knotted the game up at three and chased Lazcano, who gave up a season-high three earned runs.
The Pack would reclaim the lead in the half of the eighth. After Romero reached on a walk, he was pulled for pinch runner Justin Willman (Sr., Falcon, Colo.). Castaneda's third single moved Willman into scoring position. Davis delivered in the clutch, bringing in Willman with a base hit to make it 4-3.
Lubbock Christian looked to answer in the eighth. The Chaps had runners at the corners with nobody out. That's when the Pack turned to Ricklefs, who entered the game and promptly stranded the game-tying run at third. He would close out the Chaps in the ninth to give the Pack a 4-3 win.
These two squads will continue their four-game series Saturday when the meet in a doubleheader beginning at 12 p.m. Mountain Standard Time. After the Pack finishes non-conference play against the Chaps, they will return home to open Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Play Friday March 2 at 2 p.m. against Metro State University of Denver.
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As a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Colorado State University – Pueblo competes in 22 varsity sports in NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletics.