May 11, 2014

Bears complete sweep of Chicago State Sunday

By PARKER COTTON

UNCBears.com

CHICAGO – Northern Colorado Baseball made the most of its weekend in the Land of Lincoln, coming away with a sweep of Chicago State following a 6-4 victory on Sunday in the series finale.

The Bears (10-40 4-20 WAC) got another strong start on the hill, as Josh Tinnon (Niwot) went 6 2/3 innings and gave up just six hits and one walk while striking out three and allowing one unearned run.

"It all starts on the mound with Tinnon giving us six strong innings," head coach Carl Iwasaki said. "He kept the ball down and filled up the zone, making for some easy outs for our defense."

The Bears got on the board in the second inning after right fielder Ben Netzel (Loveland) doubled to score third baseman Brandon Vaughn (Louisville, Colo.). Netzel later scored on a wild pitch, and then designated hitter Bryan Tibbitts (Westminster) hit a home run to left center field to give Northern Colorado a 3-0 lead.

The Cougars (15-35, 3-18 WAC) got a run back in the bottom of the seventh, but the Bears responded with another three in the top of the eighth. With two outs in the inning, Vaughn hit an RBI double and Netzel added an RBI single. Netzel stole second base following a pitching change and later scored on a single by catcher Andrew Coffman (Davenport, Iowa).

Chicago State tried to make things interesting in the eighth inning, scoring three runs on three hits, but Yan Fortin (Laval, Quebec) pitched the final inning and a third with zero hits and one walk, earning his second save of the year.

"Offensively, Netzel swung the bat well and led the charge today with a couple run-scoring plays," Iwasaki said. "Overall, it was a great team victory, and we are looking to carry over this momentum into next weekend."

Netzel finished 3-for-4 on the day with a pair of runs scored and RBIs, including two doubles. Shortstop Alex Drew (Overland Park, Kan.) and second baseman Landon Moseley (Lawrence, Kan.) also recorded RBIs in the game.

The Bears return home next weekend for their final series of the season, a three-game set against University of Texas-Pan American at Jackson Field. The Friday game will begin at 3 p.m. and both games during the weekend will begin at noon.