PUEBLO, Colo. (GoThunderWolves.com – Apr. 17, 2014) — Behind two strong pitching efforts from two of the best arms in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, the Colorado State University-Pueblo ThunderWolves claimed a pair of low-scoring, 1-run wins in a doubleheader sweep of visiting Metro State University, Friday afternoon here at Rawlings Field.
After splitting each of their last three series evenly, the Pack are now assured of at least of a series win thanks to the 4-3 and 3-2 victories, which came on the heels of Thursday night's 7-4 victory over the Roadrunners. They now have a chance at their first series sweep of the season at noon on Saturday and also gained ground on RMAC Plains Division leading New Mexico Highlands, which saw a 10-game winning streak come to an end with a Game 2 home loss to Adams State.
The Pack, now 22-18 overall and 18-11 in RMAC play, are now within 2 ½ games of the Cowboys (24-16, 21-9 RMAC), who still have to come to the Steel City for a 4-game set that is likely to decide the division title. That series starts Friday, Apr. 25 with the annual Pack the Park game at Runyon Field.
On Friday, the Pack rode starters Mike Fabrizio (Sr., Pueblo, Colo.) and Jesse Bristow (Jr., Heber, Utah) for 13 of the 14 innings.
Fabrizio allowed just four hits and one earned run and struck out six Roadrunners in his complete game effort in the first game of the afternoon. He is now 6-2 on the year and tied for the RMAC lead in wins. Meanwhile, Bristow (5-4) went six innings allowing just six hits and two runs in the nightcap.
Meanwhile, Mike Wagner (Jr., Golden, Colo.) and Eddie Williams (Sr., Castle Rock, Colo.) were the offensive heroes. Wagner hit a 2-run bomb to left in the third inning of game one, his third of the year, which put the ThunderWolves up 4-0. The Roadrunners would pull within one in the top of the fourth with three runs, aided by two Pack errors.
However, they would get no closer as Fabrizio did not allow a hit the rest of the way.
In the second game, the Roadrunners (10-24, 8-21 RMAC), took an early 1-0 lead in the second inning before Dominick Bregar (So., Pueblo, Colo.) and Scott Hoyt (Jr., Longmont, Colo.) tallied back-to-back RBI singles to put the ThunderWolves, up 2-1.
The Roadrunners then scratched out a tying run in the top of the fifth before JJ Ortiz (Jr., Pueblo, Colo.) reached on a 1-out error in the bottom of the sixth before stealing second. Williams, hovering around the Mendoza line throughout the season, then delivered a big 2-out single through the left side for what proved to be the game-winning hit that plated Ortiz.
Doug Finley (Jr., Bermuda Dunes, Calif.) then entered to pitch a perfect top of the seventh while striking out two Metro State hitters. In the process, Finley earned his second save of the series and his third of the season.
The teams combined for just 22 hits throughout the day as solid pitching efforts from the Roadrunners' Patrick Gojan and Kevin Hand were thwarted. Both Roadrunner hurlers gave up six hits in complete game losses.
Bregar, who drew a walk and put down a sacrifice bunt in the first game, saw what was a 24-game hitting streak snapped although he did extend his reached safely streak to 30 games on the day.
The ThunderWolves are now a combined 19-3 against the Roadrunners over the last three seasons.