May 1, 2014 5:30 PM by Jordan Mason
ALAMOSA, Colo. (GoThunderWolves.com - May 1, 2014) - Playoff positioning will be on the line this Friday and Saturday when the Colorado State University-Pueblo baseball team wraps up the regular season with a 4-game set at Adams State University.
The series will played over two days with doubleheaders starting at noon on both Friday and Saturday at the ASU Baseball Field, a change from the original 3-day schedule that called for single games on Friday and Saturday.
The Pack enter the weekend assured of a spot in next week's 4-team Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Tournament. However, they will be looking to move up a spot in the standings and seeding. With a 20-14 conference record (24-21 overall), the Pack are one game behind Colorado Mines (23-18, 21-13 RMAC), which hosts RMAC-leading and fourth-ranked Colorado Mesa (34-9, 28-6 RMAC) in a 4-game weekend set.
Thus, the Pack will need to win two more games that the Orediggers can against Colorado Mesa to be assured of the No. 3 seed.
Colorado Mesa, which has already clinched the Mountain Division, is all but assured of hosting the tournament, but will need one win or a New Mexico Highlands loss at home to Metro State, in order to seal the overall regular season title and the right to host. New Mexico Highlands (28-17, 25-10) took three of four games from the Pack last weekend to clinch the Plains Division title. The Cowboys will be the second seed in the RMAC Tournament unless they sweep Metro State (13-26, 11-23) and Colorado Mines finds a way to sweep Colorado Mesa.
Although Pack coach Stan Sanchez and his club, which had won seven out of nine and 11 of 16 games before last weekend, will have an eye on the RMAC scoreboard, they are most focused on the Adams State Grizzlies (14-31, 12-23 RMAC), a team they took three of four games in a March home series.
The Pack hit an impressive .354 as a team in that series, scoring 10 or more runs in all three of their victories, something they have only done three times in the 25 games since.
Mike Wagner (Jr., Golden, Colo.) led the way that weekend, going 7-for-12 (.583) at the plate. He is hitting .338 overall and leads the team with his four homers and 35 RBIs, eight of which game against the Grizzlies. Meanwhile, Dominick Bregar (So., Pueblo, Colo.), who has reached safely in 35 consecutive games, recording a hit in all but two of them, is hitting .377 on the year. He went .467 at the plate against the Grizzlies.
Austin Mascorro (Jr., Oxnard, Calif.) still leads the pack with his .378 overall batting average but went just 1-for-10 in last weekend's series against New Mexico Highlands.
Meanwhile, Scott Hoyt (Sr., Longmont, Colo.) had a solid 17-game hitting streak snapped on 17 by New Mexico Highlands but is still hitting .329. He also has 14 doubles and 32 RBIs.
Sanchez has seen the re-emergence of No. 4 starter Victor Soto (Jr., Whittier, Calif.), who has earned wins in each of his last three starts after going nearly two months without a victory. Named as RMAC pitcher of the week after throwing seven innings of 3-hit shut-out ball against Metro State on Apr. 17, he went the distance in last Sunday's 5-4 come-from-behind win over New Mexico Highlands. In the process, Soto has lowered his ERA to 5.29, more than two points lower than it had been and enters the weekend with four wins and just outside of the RMAC's top 10 for ERA.
Meanwhile, Mike Fabrizio (Sr., Pueblo, Colo.) and Jesse Bristow (Jr., Heber, Utah) are both inside that top 10 as the Pack's normal No. 1 and 2 hurlers. Fabrizio is 6-2 with a 3.18 ERA to rank third in the RMAC. He also paces the league with 70 strikeouts, 23 more than any other pitcher in the conference, in a league-high 76 1/3 innings of work. Bristow, has gone 1-4 in his last five starts, but still has a 5.18 ERA to rank 10th in the RMAC.
Adams State's top starting pitcher has been junior transfer Andrew MacMahon, who sports a 4-6 record and a 6.36 ERA in 12 starts. He is second in the RMAC behind Fabrizio in strikeouts with 47.
Offensively, the Grizzlies are a balanced squad that has seven regular starters hitting between .304 and 336. Sophomore second baseman Dillon Bollig, who has four homers and a team high 33 RBIs, leads the group with his .336 average while senior outfielder Drew Wold, who is hitting .321 with 32 RBIs and 14 doubles, also can provide some punch.
The Grizzlies, who were off to a respectable 4-3 RMAC start before facing the Pack, have won just four of their last 21 games. They are also just 2-12 against the ThunderWolves since re-starting their program last season.