Pack Baseball Ready for series with rival Mesa

Pack Baseball Ready for series with rival Mesa

PUEBLO, Colo. (March 23, 2017) Following their first series win of 2017, Colorado State University-Pueblo Baseball will hit the road for a four-game showdown with rival Colorado Mesa University starting Friday night at 6:05 p.m.

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The series will continue Saturday with a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. CSU-Pueblo will conclude its eight game road trip Sunday at 12 p.m.

Thanks to a 3-1 series win over New Mexico Highlands University, the Pack has climbed back to .500 with a 13-13 record overall. They sit in a tie for third in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference with a 7-5 conference record. The Mavericks come into the weekend with a 14-8 record overall and a 6-2 mark in conference.

This weekend's series will feature the RMAC's top offense facing the RMAC's top pitching staff. The Pack leads the RMAC with a .331 team batting average, while Colorado Mesa owns a 3.63 team ERA, the best in the RMAC.

The Pack also has scored a conference-best 181 runs. CSU-Pueblo ranks 23rd nationally in team batting average.

Zach Hoffman (Jr., South Jordan, Utah) has fired up the Pack's offense from the leadoff spot. Hoffman ranks seventh in the RMAC with a .394 batting average. The Pack's center fielder ranks second in the RMAC with 25 runs scored and leads the conference with five triples and 39 total hits. His 10 stolen bases ranks second.

Brandon Castaneda (Sr., Azusa, Calif.) drove in nine runs and scored seven times in the Pack's series with the Cowboys. Castaneda leads the RMAC with 27 runs scored.  He is the 15th toughest batter to strikeout in the nation, with just three K's in 101 at bats. Defensively, Castaneda leads the RMAC with 76 assists.

Catcher Ambrose Romero (Jr., Albuquerque, N.M.) continues to lead the RMAC with 28 RBIs. Romero also leads the RMAC behind the plate with nine runners gunned down this season.

Gilbert Sauceda (So., Indio, Calif.) has drawn a RMAC best 19 walks. Sauceda's .482 OBP ranks eighth in the RMAC directly behind teammate Chris Devery (Jr., Saugus, Calif.). Devery has walked 14 times and has a .486 OBP.

Kyle Lazcano (Sr., Anaheim Hills, Calif.) continues to dominate on Friday's. Lazcano ranks second in the RMAC with four wins and his 2.08 ERA places him third. The righty has fanned 52 batters, 15 more than anyone else in the RMAC. Lazcano ranks 17th in the nation in strikeouts.  

David Gunther (Sr., Las Vegas, Nev.) has been on fire since the start of the RMAC season. Gunther ranks sixth in the RMAC with a .488 average in RMAC games. He has scored 21 times in RMAC, second to only Hoffman and Regis University's Josh Newell at 22.

CSU-Pueblo has a long history with the Mavericks since the Pack restarted baseball in 1994. In that time, the two teams have combined for 16 RMAC Regular Season Championships and 12 RMAC Tournament Championships. Ten of those 12 RMAC Tournament Championship games featured both schools including last season's game won by Colorado Mesa.

The ThunderWolves will enjoy a free weekend after facing the Mavericks. They will return home to Rawlings Field April 7 when they host Adams State University.

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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.