February 15, 2013

Baseball splits season opening doubleheader


LUBBOCK, Texas – The Northern Colorado Baseball team opened the 2013 season at the Brooks Wallace Memorial Classic with a doubleheader against BYU. The teams split the two games, with BYU winning the opener 9-0 and the Bears bouncing back for the 6-4 win in game two.

Junior Landon Moseley (Lawrence, Kan.) went 3-for-5 in the two games with a pair of walks, while both junior Nick Miller (Loveland, Colo.) and senior Dylan Banach (Westminster, Colo.) were 3-for-7 over the twinbill.

Senior Jake Johnson (Aurora, Colo.) picked up the team's first win of the season, while junior Josh Tinnon (Niwot, Colo.) earned his first save of the year in game two.

The Bears return to action in the tournament on Saturday, playing host Texas Tech at 1 pm Mountain.

Game One Recap
Northern Colorado could never get the bats going in the first game of the season, managing just four hits over the nine frames. On the flip side, BYU scored nine runs on seven hits and drew 10 walks.

Half of the Bears hits came off Banach's bat, as he was 2-for-4. Senior Brooks Schneider (Longmont, Colo.) and Moseley each had one of the other two hits.

Junior Chris Hammer (Greeley, Colo.) was credited with the loss. Hammer threw five innings, allowing four runs on three hits with five walks and three strike outs. Only two of his runs were earned, however, as the Bears had a fielding error in the three-run fifth inning.

"In the first game, I feel Hammer did a great job," Head Coach Carl Iwasaki said. "He got us through five innings and we had an error which created the three run inning. We also couldn't get the bats going in game one, which I think was because we came out a little anxious and we left a number of runners in scoring position early, especially."

Hammer did retire seven straight batters from the third out of the first inning through the top of the fourth before BYU scored the first run in the bottom half. Jaycob Brugman tripled to right field to lead off the inning and scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Brock Whitney.

The Cougars added three runs in the bottom of the fifth and one in the seventh for the 5-0 lead. BYU then added four runs in the eighth to extend the lead to 9-0.

Game Two Recap
In the second game, the Bears scored their six runs on 11 hits and drew six walks, while BYU scored four runs on nine hits and Johnson and Tinnon combined to walk just three.

Offensively, Miller was 3-for-4 at the plate, while junior Colby Harrison (Cheyenne, Wyo.) and Moseley each had a pair of hits. The Bears were also hit by a pitch four times, including senior Ben Packard (Niwot) who was plunked twice.

"The second game was much better for us offensively than the first," Iwasaki said. "We turned the hitting around, doing a good job of hitting when there were runners in scoring position. The difference in the game, obviously, was we generated some offense. At the same time we left 14 on base, but a good sign is we generated those base runners."

The Bears jumped out to the early lead, scoring one run in the first. Banach singled up the middle and advanced to second on a single through the right side by Miller. Packard was hit by a pitch to load the bases and all three advanced 90 feet on a passed ball for the 1-0 advantage.

In the bottom of the third, Miller and Harrison hit back-to-back singles to lead off the inning and Packard got hit again to load the bases for the second time in the game, forcing a BYU pitching change. Senior Harrison Lambert (Lenexa, Kan.) grounded out to the pitcher, but recorded an RBI and Schneider followed with a single to plate the second run. Junior Ben Netzel (Loveland) doubled to right center and both Packard and Schneider scampered home for the 5-0 lead.

BYU scored four runs in the top of the fifth inning to close within one run, 5-4.

The Bears added one run in the bottom of the seventh. Netzel, Moseley and sophomore Ryan Yamane (Honolulu, Hawai'i) all walked to load the bases when the Cougars again went to the bullpen. Banach hit a sacrifice fly to right field to advance all three runners and stretch the lead back to two, 6-4.

"Defensively, we were pretty flawless on the field in the second game," Iwasaki said. "We felt pretty good about what we did. Jake Johnson ran into a little trouble in the fifth inning but pitched well until that point. Josh Tinnon did a really nice job in relief, pitching four solid innings. Game two was a grind, but I thought the guys fought hard to come out with the win."

First hit: Brooks Schneider, single between short and third, second inning, game one
First extra-base hit: Dylan Banach, double to right centerfield, third inning, game one
First triple: Nick Miller, sixth inning, game two
First run scored of the year: Dylan Banach, first inning, game two
First hit by pitch: Colby Harrison, second inning, game one
First base on balls: Ryan Yamane, first inning, game one
First stolen base: Brooks Schneider, second inning, game two
First to retire the side in order: Chris Hammer, second inning (one K), game one
First runner caught stealing: Harrison Lambert to Landon Moseley, third inning, game two
First victory: Jake Johnson, game two
First save: Josh Tinnon, game two