Sports - College

Apr 7, 2014 10:00 AM by Posted by Greg Smith

Pack bench key in 11-inning thriller over CMU

PUEBLO, Colo. (GoThunderWolves.com - Apr. 6, 2014) - The Colorado State University-Pueblo ThunderWolves claimed their second walk-off, extra-inning win of the weekend as they split a key 4-game Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference series with a 9-8 triumph over the nation's 13th-ranked Colorado Mesa University Mavericks on Sunday afternoon at Rawlings Field.

After winning a 5-4 decision with a 10th-inning walk-off homer by starting first baseman Dominick Bregar (So., Pueblo, Colo.) on Friday night in the series opener, the Pack relied heavily on the bench in Sunday's win, which featured ninth and 10th inning comebacks to tie the game before a Maverick throwing error allowed the Pack to score the game-winning run in the 11th.

Reserve shortstop Dillon Thomas (So., Pueblo, Colo.), who had entered the game defensively in the 10th inning, started the 11th off with single to right before moving to second on centerfielder Mike Wagner's (Jr., Golden, Colo.) third straight single.

One batter later, Thomas Vinci (R-Fr., Pueblo, Colo.) made his first plate appearance of the season. The Pueblo South graduate hit the ball to the right side as the Mavericks' Kevan Elcock threw the ball wide of second base in attempting to get Wagner with a force-out at second. That allowed Thomas to round third and score.

The ThunderWolves also benefitted from Maverick miscues in the 10th as they entered the inning down 9-8 before Daniel Vigil (Jr., Pueblo, Colo.) tallied his first hit of the season hit up the middle before giving way to Lawrence Chavez (Jr., Estancia, N.M.), who entered as a pinch-runner. Chavez the moved to second on a Mario Sanchez (Sr., Tucson, Ariz.) sacrifice before going to third on what would be a very important wild pitch. Chavez then scored when Maverick' first baseman Kevin Mitchell could not handle an Elcock throw.

The ThunderWolves needed so such miscues in their ninth inning comeback as they scored three runs to erase a 7-4 deficit.

Wagner, who went 4-for-6 with four RBIs on the day, had the biggest blow with a 2-out, 2-run single to right that plated both Chris Ramsey (Jr., Westminster, Colo.) and Scott Hoyt (Sr., Longmont, Colo.), who also went 4-for-6. Earlier in the inning, starting shortstop Austin Mascorro (Jr., Oxnard, Calif.) had drawn a bases-loaded walk that made the score 7-5.

Early on, it was looking as if the ThunderWolves would not need any late heroics as they jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning thanks in large part to a 2-run triple by starting pitcher Lonny Schoon (Sr., Colorado Springs, Colo.). However, the Mavericks came back to take a 5-4 lead in the third inning, chasing Schoon. They then tacked on single runs in the fourth and sixth to extend the lead to 7-4.

However, Dillon Given (Sr., Salinas, Calif.), who eventually earned his first hard-fought win of the season, as the Pack's third pitcher of the day, kept the Mavericks from doing any further damage as he went an impressive 7 2/3 innings while striking out six. Given, who did not allow a walk was pitching for just the sixth time this campaign , gave up just two earned runs in what was easily his longest stretch that spanned 99 total pitches.

The Mavericks used seven pitchers throughout the game as Cody Lahman took the loss, falling to 2-2, after entering in the 10th to get the final out of that inning.

Offensively, the teams combined for 30 hits with the Mavericks tallying 16.

Maverick starter Kyle Davis shook off the rough start to throw seven innings before the Maverick bullpen gave up six hits and five runs, three of which were earned, in 3 1/3 of combined work. Austin Kaiser went 3-for-5 with three runs while six different Maverick players had two or more hits.

The ThunderWolves, who have not lost any of their five home series this season, will now venture on the road for a 4-game stint next weekend at Colorado Mines before returning home for eight more games, a stretch that starts Thursday, Apr. 17 against Metro State.

 

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