February 22, 2014

Fourth-inning homerun only damage in Bears' 2-0 loss

By PARKER COTTON

UNCBears.com

GREELEY – Northern Colorado baseball dropped the middle game of a three-game series against Colorado Mesa Saturday, losing 2-0 at Jackson Field.

After winning 6-4 on Friday, this loss sets up a rubber match at noon Sunday.

Bears (1-6) senior left-handed pitcher Nick Miller (Loveland) went five innings in the loss, giving up six hits and three walks with three strikeouts. His lone blemish came in the fourth inning when he gave up a two-out, two-run homerun to CMU (6-1) junior left fielder Austin Wallingford that cleared the left field fences.

Freshman Connor Leedholm (Lakewood) relieved Miller and pitched three and a third innings, giving up just one hit. Yan Fortin (Laval, Quebec) pitched the final two thirds of an inning with no damage.

The Bears managed just three hits in the game off CMU starter Nevin Wilson, who went six innings with one strikeout and no walks. The Maverick bullpen pitched three innings of hitless ball, but allowed one walk and a hit batter.

The Bears got runners on second and third in the eighth and a runner on in the ninth, but CMU was able to close the door unscathed.

"Wilson kept the ball in and out of the zone," Northern Colorado head coach Carl Iwasaki said. "Good pitching is a challenge for good hitters, and good pitching got us today."

Junior third baseman Brandon Vaughn (Louisville) went 2-for-4 in the game, and junior shortstop Ryan Yamane (Honolulu) went 1-for-3, but the rest of the lineup went without a hit.

"We didn't win the series today, but we'll have Chris Hammer (Greeley) on the mound – he's a top gun," Iwasaki said. "Right out of the gates at Sam Houston State, he held those guys in check in the first outing of the year, so I'm looking for a good appearance from him tomorrow, and hopefully we'll get our bats going."