ThunderWolves trounce MSU Denver 19-6 in RMAC opener

ThunderWolves trounce MSU Denver 19-6 in RMAC opener

PUEBLO, Colo. (March 3, 2017) –  In their first Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference game of the season, Colorado State University-Pueblo Baseball made a statement defeating Metro State University Denver 19-6 Friday at Friday at Rawlings Field.

Thanks to their 19 run outburst and another dominating performance from Kyle Lazcano (Sr., Anaheim, Calif.) the Pack begin RMAC play 1-0 and now find themselves 7-8 overall. The Roadrunners stumbled to 4-7.

Lazcano struck out a career-best 12 batters. He surrendered two runs, but both were unearned. The righty issued three walks and allowed five hits in six innings of work. Lazcano's 12 k's are the most by a Pack pitcher since Zac Wittmus fanned 13 March 13,2015.  Lazcano lowered his ERA to 1.69. He leads the RMAC with 38 strikeouts.

David Gunther (Sr., Albuquerque, N.M.) delivered a career-day at the plate. Gunther went 4-for-6 with four runs scored. He also plated four runs, almost doubling his career total in one game.

The Pack's offense scored a season-high 19 runs. CSU-Pueblo showcased some patience at the plate drawing 12 walks. The 12 free passes for the Pack is their most since they also drew 12 four years ago to the day against MSU Denver as well.

Jorge Duarte (Jr., San Luis, Ariz.) went 2-for-3  for the Pack. Duarte drove in three runs and scored twice. He slugged his second triple of the season.

In the first inning, it looked like the Roadrunners  would get off to a fast start. In just three pitches, MSU Denver loaded the bases thanks to a hit and a pair of bunts that led to three baserunners. Facing a bases-loaded jam with no outs, Lazcano refocused and struck out the next three batters. This would start a streak of five straight punch outs for Lazcano.

The Pack wasted no time attacking MSU Denver's pitching. Zach Hoffman (Jr., South Jordan, Utah) walked to start the bottom of the first and promptly stole second. He would score on a Gilbert Sauceda (So., Indio, Calif.) double that put the Pack up 1-0. Sauceda's double would open the flood gates as the Pack sent 11 batters to the plate and scored seven runs to go up by a touchdown after one.

After Lazcano retired the side in order in the second, the Pack struck for seven more runs in the bottom half. In the second, 12 men came to the plate for the ThunderWolves as they went up 14-0. Ambrose Romero (Jr., Albuquerque, N.M.) capped the inning  with a two-run single that brought in Gunther and Hoffman.

MSU Denver scored twice in the third. The Pack answered with a run in the sixth as Sauceda singled to bring in Gunther to make it 15-2.

The Roadrunners would score four in the seventh to make it 15-6 heading into stretch time. In the bottom of the seventh, the Pack batted around for the third time in the game. Four more ThunderWolves crossed the plate as the Pack would put away the Roadrunners 19-6.

Sauceda finished the day 2-for-3. He walked twice to reach base four times. Sauceda plated two runs and scored once.

Hoffman reached base three times, going 2-for-4 with a base on balls. He scored twice. Hoffman hit his RMAC-leading third triple of the season.

Nine Pack players had hits in the game and 13 different players got on base for CSU-Pueblo. Lazcano earned his third victory of the season to move to 3-0. Beecher Strube took the loss for the Roadrunners. Strube did not last a full inning as he gave up seven runs in 0.2 innings of work.

The Pack and the Roadrunners will continue their four-game conference series tomorrow with a doubleheader Saturday at 1 p.m. at Rawlings Field. Both of Saturday's games are scheduled for seven innings.

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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