PUEBLO, Colo. (March 10, 2017) – It may have taken an extra inning, but Colorado State University-Pueblo Baseball claimed its first walk off win of 2017 with a 4-3 victory Colorado School of Mines Friday at Rawlings Field.
The Pack inched closer to .500 with the win, moving to 9-10 on the season. The Orediggers slipped to 6-6. CSU-Pueblo moved ahead of the Orediggers in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference standings with a 3-2 RMAC record, while Mines stands 2-3 in conference play.
David Gunther (Sr., Albuquerque, N.M.) delivered in the clutch for the Pack. Gunther went 3-for-5 and drove in the winning run on a fielder's choice in the 10th inning. He has raised his average to .298 on the season.
Catcher Ambrose Romero (Jr., Albuquerque, N.M.) continues to produce in the heart of the Pack's lineup. Romero went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs. He also drew a free pass. Romero now has 20 RBIs on the season to the lead the team and rank second in the RMAC.
Zach Hoffman (Jr., South Jordan, Utah) had a 2-for-4 day at the dish. Hoffman scored twice for the Pack. The center fielder hit his RMAC leading fifth triple of the season.
RMAC Pitcher of the Week, Kyle Lazcano (Sr., Anaheim Hills, Calif.) turned in another quality start. Lazcano tossed seven innings, allowing three runs. He held the Orediggers to six hits and one walk, while striking out seven. Lazcano upped his RMAC leading total in punch outs to 45 on the season. In six appearances this season, Lazcano has already surpassed his strike out total from last season in which he made 12 appearances. Despite the quality start, Lazcano took a no decision.
Chris Devery (Jr., Saugus, Calif.) slugged two hits, including a double, in three trips. Devery also walked and scored a run.
The Orediggers put pressure on the Pack in the top of the first. Colorado Mines brought in the game's first run on a Jace Selsor single.
CSU-Pueblo answered back in its half of the first. Hoffman led off the inning with a triple. Romero brought the junior in with a RBI base knock to knot the game at one.
In the second inning, the Pack took the lead. With two outs, Devery doubled to left. Gunther followed with a single. An error by the shortstop on Gunther's single allowed Devery to come home and give the Pack a 2-1 lead.
The ThunderWolves added another run in the bottom fifth. Hoffman singled. Romero chased him home with another single to push the Pack's lead to 3-1.
Mines responded in the sixth. The Orediggers plated two runs to knot the game at three.
The Pack had numerous chances to take the lead back. In the seventh, CSU-Pueblo loaded the bases, but could not get the run across.
In the top of the ninth, the Orediggers threatened to take the lead. Bret Ricklefs (Jr., Topeka, Kan.) entered the game for the Pack to try and keep the game tied. With the bases loaded, Ricklefs recorded the final out and sent the game to the bottom of the ninth.
CSU-Pueblo pushed a runner into scoring position in the ninth, but could not get the winning run across. In the top of the 10th, the Orediggers had runners at first and second, but Ricklefs got an inning ending double play to escape the jam.
Brandon Castaneda (Sr., Azusa, Calif.) led off the bottom of the 10th with a single. A sacrifice bunt from Derron Davis (Sr., Las Vegas, Nev.) moved Castaneda into second. After two walks and a wild pitch the Pack had loaded the bases again. That's when Gunther stepped in and delivered the game winning groundout to score Castaneda, giving the Pack a walk off 4-3 win.
Ricklefs earned the win with 1.1 scoreless innings of work. The win is the first victory in a Pack uniform for Ricklefs. Josh Nuernberg (Sr., Las Vegas, Nev.) tossed 1.2 innings of shutout baseball in relief for the Pack.
CSU-Pueblo and the Orediggers will clash in a doubleheader Saturday at 1 p.m. Both games at Rawlings Field Saturday are scheduled for seven innings.
– 30 –
As a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Colorado State University – Pueblo competes in 22 varsity sports in NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletics.