March 26, 2013

Baseball rallies for 14-6 win in Pueblo

By HEATHER KENNEDY
UNCBears.com

PUEBLO, Colo. -- In a late addition to the schedule, Northern Colorado Baseball hosted Adams State on Tuesday in Pueblo and came home with a 14-6 win at Runyon Field.

The Bears (7-11) scored in every inning from the third through the eighth, scoring their runs on 12 hits and two Grizzlies errors, and junior Nick Miller (Loveland, Colo.) led the offense, going 4-for-5 with four RBIs and two runs scored, while sophomores Ryan Yamane (Honolulu, Hawai'i) and Jensen Park (Kaneohe, Hawai'i) had two hits apiece. 

Northern Colorado will next host South Dakota State in a three-game series beginning at 3 p.m. Friday at Jackson Field.

Sophomore Eian Raeber (Hanford, Calif.) pitched the fifth inning and earned the win (2-1) after the Bears took the lead for the final time in the bottom half.

Adams State (7-18) struck first, scoring two runs in the top of the first inning off junior starter Josh Tinnon (Niwot, Colo.).

The Bears then scored one in the bottom of the second, thanks in part to two Grizzlies errors. With one out, junior Ben Netzel (Loveland) drew a walk and Love bunted back to the pitcher, who overthrew the first baseman to put runners on the corners. Junior Landon Moseley (Lawrence, Kan.) struck out, but the catcher threw the ball wide of the pitcher, allowing Netzel to score.

ASU answered with one run in the top of the fourth. Senior Ben Packard (Niwot) led off the bottom of the fourth with a triple to right center for the team's second hit of the evening. He scored on a groundout to short stop off the bat of senior catcher Harrison Lambert (Lenexa, Kan.) to make the score 3-2.

Adams State again was able to hang a crooked number in the top of the fifth, scoring two more runs for the 5-2 advantage.

The Bears exploded for five runs in the bottom of the fifth to take the 7-5 lead. Senior Dylan Banach (Westminster, Colo.) was hit by a pitch to start things off. Yamane singled to left field and a fielder's choice off the bat of Park put runners at the corners with one out. Miller singled through the right side to plate one and Packard walked on four straight pitches to load the bases. Bryan Tibbitts (Westminster), pinch hitting for Lambert, singled to right to score one and pull the Bears within one, 5-4. Rob Cashel (Park City, Utah), also pinch hitting, drew a walk to knot the score. Moseley laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt down the first base line the fifth and final run of the frame.

Junior pitcher Robert Hawkins (Greeley) walked the first batter in the top of the sixth, but struck the next two out and picked off the pinch hitter for the unconventional retiring of the side in order.

Park doubled down the left field line and scored on a single back up the middle by Miller. Packard was hit by a pitch in the middle of his upper back and both advanced 90 feet on a balk. A Tibbitts groundout plated Miller for the 9-5 lead.

Adams State got one run back in the top of the seventh to pull within three, 9-6, but Hawkins again got a strikeout to end the inning.

The Bears tacked on another three runs in the bottom of the seventh for the 12-6 lead. Freshman pitcher Matt Loutzenhiser (Parker, Colo.) retired the side in order in the top of the eighth for the Bears.

Tibbitts was plunked in the middle of the back to lead off the eighth and he stole second base. With two outs, Tyler Yamamoto (Kaneohe, Hawai'i) walked and Banach singled through the right side to plate Tibbitts. Yamane singled to right and advanced on the throw back to the infield as Yamamoto came around to score for the 14-6 final.