PUEBLO, Colo. (March 23, 2018) – On a windy night, Colorado State University-Pueblo Baseball gave No. 8 ranked Colorado Mesa University all they could handle. However, the breeze blew in favor of the Mavericks as they escaped with an 8-5 win in 11 innings.
The loss ends the Pack's eight game home winning streak. They now stand 14-12 with a 6-7 record in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference games. Colorado Mesa improved to 17-5 (8-1 RMAC).
Jorge Duarte (Sr., San Luis, Ariz.) continued his clutch hitting. The left fielder posted a 3-for-6 day at the dish. He also swatted a game-tying two-run single in the bottom of the eighth. Duarte has now hit safely in each of his last 12 games.
Ambrose Romero (Sr., Albuquerque, N.M.) reached base four times in five trips. Romero went 2-for-3 with two walks. He also scored a run.
Dakota Popham (Jr., Colorado Springs, Colo.) slugged a pair of doubles. Popham scored a run and drove in one more.
Junior Mason Krueger (Draper, Utah) also delivered a pair of hits. He was the only Pack starter who did not strike out.
The Pack got off to a great start. Facing Mavericks ace Kyle Leahy, the Pack unleashed a three-run first inning. The ThunderWolves sent nine hitters to the plate in the first as they staked themselves to a 3-0 lead. CSU-Pueblo had five straight hits including an RBI double from Popham and run-scoring singles from Brandon Maes (R-Fr., Pueblo, Colo.) and Gilbert Sauceda (Jr., Indio, Calif.).
In the top of the second, the Mavericks took advantage of the wind, hitting a pair of home runs. Two innings later, Colorado Mesa scored two more to take a 4-3 lead. Colorado Mesa tacked on an insurance run in the top of the seventh to push their advantage to two.
CSU-Pueblo answered in the bottom of the eighth. Sauceda walked. Romero followed with a single. Tanner Fuhrmann (Sr., Flagstaff, Ariz.) also earned a free pass to load the bases. With the bases loaded and two outs, Duarte came through with a game-tying single that would eventually force extra innings.
The Mavericks broke through in the top of the 11th. They struck for three runs to make it 8-5.
Duarte and Krueger led off the Pack's half of the 11th with back-to-back singles. However, Tanner Herdt would shut the door on the ThunderWolves getting three straight out to earn his first save.
Zach Hoffman (Sr., South Jordan, Utah) took the loss for the Pack after throwing 106 pitches in relief. Hoffman struck out four. His record stands at 3-2. AJ Landis picked up the win for the Mavericks, who struck out 17 ThunderWolves on the day.
CSU-Pueblo and Colorado Mesa will clash Saturday at 1 p.m. in a doubleheader at Rawlings Field. Both games Saturday will be seven-inning showdowns.
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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