COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. After handing No. 1 Colorado Mesa University their third loss of the season on Saturday, the University of Colorado Colorado Springs baseball team came back Sunday to play the role of giant killers as they took game four of the series at a final score of 3-2 inside Mountain Lion Park, splitting the series with CMU.
Starting pitcher Daniel Silva threw nearly a complete game as he kept the Maverick hitters off balance through a full eight innings of work. Silva gave up two runs off seven hits with five strikeouts to get the win, and bring his record to a stellar 4-1 on the season. Closer Cam Aufderheide came in to get the save as he brings his season total to four saves.
Each team recorded seven hits in the ball game as the Mountain Lions were led by Jake Anderson and Matt McDermott. Anderson finished the day going 2-for-4 with a run scored, as McDermott tallied two RBI off his 10th double of the season.
CMU put the first run on the board in the second inning as a double that landed directly on the right field foul line scored a runner from second base to give the Mavericks a short lived 1-0 lead.
UCCS answered right back in the bottom half of the second inning with two runs. Riley Gregory got the inning going with a walk, and eventually reached third after reading a ball in the turf to get to second, then stealing third base. Walker Rumsey followed it up with a walk of his own and stole second to place two runners in scoring position for the Mountain Lions. This set the scene for McDermott who ripped an inside fastball down the left field line to give UCCS a 2-1 lead.
Silva and the Mountain Lions then went on to shutout the Mavericks for three consecutive innings as tremendous defensive play backed the solid pitching. Rumsey hunted down a deep fly ball to dead center and leaped up to catch a ball above the outfield padding to get the out, and save what could have been a leadoff double for the Mavericks in the fifth inning.
After not being able to get runs across in the third and fourth inning, the Mountain Lions came back in the fifth inning to tack on a much needed insurance run. Anderson led off with a missile to the right center gap that was good for two bases, and setup a runner in scoring position with no outs. A wild pitch then moved Anderson over to third base where Cody Norton was able to hit a sharp groundball to shortstop to score Anderson and bring UCCS' lead to 3-1.
In the sixth inning, CMU tried to tie the game up as a home run brought the game to 3-2, followed by a double which put the tying run on second base with two outs in the inning. With the tying run in scoring position, CMU's Tyler Sandoval stepped up to hit a single through the right side where the tying run was waved home. Norton sprinted to cleanly field the ball and fire a rocket that one-bounced to Gregory at home plate to tag out the tying run and get the Mountain Lions out of the inning.
Silva continued to pitch lights out in the seventh and eighth inning as he registered one-two-three innings for UCCS, setting the stage for Aufderheide in the ninth. The hard throwing righty from California came in and shut it down with a one-two-three inning of his own, striking out two of three batters to secure the 3-2 win over the number one team in the nation.
UCCS will look to carry the momentum into next weekend as the Mountain Lions host New Mexico Highlands University starting on Friday, Mar. 29 at 3 p.m.