April 11, 2009

Baseball Can't Hold On To Lead

BOXSCORE: at Houston Baptist

HOUSTON - In a game much more reminiscent of the rest of the 2009 season, the Northern Colorado baseball team lost a shootout to Houston Baptist in the finale of a four-game series, losing 12-11 as the Huskies scored two in the ninth. The Bears hobble home with a 9-21 record, while the Huskies are 6-24.

Northern Colorado was extremely aggressive on the base paths for the first time all year, notching five steals in the game bringing the season total to 11 thefts. Freshman Adam Hilker tallied two, while senior Andy Mees, sophomore Patrick Roche and freshman Adrian Schenk each had one swiped bag. It is the first time since March 16, 2004 against Air Force the Bears have had five or more steals in a game.

Northern Colorado scored its 11 runs on 14 hits and benefitted from two HBU errors, while the Huskies scored 12 runs on 18 hits and the Bears had no errors.

Hilker and Mees both went 3-for-5 in the game, while Mees also led the team with four RBI. Senior Erik Hegstad and junior Tyler Borzileri also each had two hits in the game with Hegstad hitting his fourth home run of the year in the fifth inning.

Junior James Quisenberry pitched the first 4.2 innings, allowing six runs on 10 hits with two walks and three strike outs. Senior Brian Sizemore threw the next 2.1 frames, surrendering four runs on five hits with a pair of walks and one strikeout and senior Kevin Sandberg pitched the final 1.1 innings and was credited with the loss for a 2-3 record. Sandberg gave up two runs on three hits, walking three and fanning two.

"This was an extremely frustrating weekend," said Head Coach Kevin Sandberg. "We did play our best baseball of the series today, but once again we were unable to finish a game. If we start playing consistent baseball, this team has the talent to do a lot of damage."

Stephen Nikonchik is credited with the win for Houston Baptist. He threw the final 1.1 innings, allowing just one run on one hit, walking one and striking out three.

Northern Colorado now plays five straight games against teams in the Mountain West Conference, as they play four at UNLV on Friday through Sunday and then return to Air Force for one game on Tuesday.