CSU-Pueblo rallies late to knock off Angelo State in 1st round of NCAA South Central Regional

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (May 14, 2015) ~ The No. 4 seed Colorado State University-Pueblo baseball team scored eight runs in the final three innings to come from behind and knock off No. 3 seed Angelo State University, 9-8, in the first round of the NCAA South Central Region Tournament at Suplizio Field.

Trailing 6-1 heading to the seventh inning, the ThunderWolves got a run back thanks to a lead-off home run Manny Menocal (Jr., Las Vegas, Nev.) to start the frame.

The Pack erased the remainder of the deficit in the top of the eighth inning. With two outs and runners at the corners, Mike Wagner (Sr., Golden, Colo.) knocked in Beau Cebulski (Jr., Las Animas, Colo.) with a single to center field. Menocal followed with a double into the gap in left-center field to drive in a run and put the potential tying runs in scoring position for Dominick Bregar (Jr., Pueblo, Colo.).

Bregar came to the plate 0-for-3 on the day, but all of that was erased as the first baseman belted a three-run blast over the right-field wall to give CSU-Pueblo a 7-6 lead.

Angelo State evened the score at seven apiece in the home half of the eighth inning on a two-out solo home run by shortstop Paxton DeLaGarza.

CSU-Pueblo answered right back in the top of the ninth inning. Tyler Landrith (Sr., Tucson, Ariz.) lined a single into right field to start the frame. Chris Ramsey (Sr., Westminster, Colo.) pinch ran for Landrith and advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Cebulski. After a ground out, Jordan Godman (Jr., Las Vegas, Nev.) was intentionally walked to bring to the plate Austin Mascorro (Sr., Oxnard, Calif.) with runners at first and second and two outs.

Mascorro came through in a big way, lining a base hit to center field. Ramsey came around to score on the hit and, after an error on the center fielder Nehwon Norkeh, Godman came all the way around from first base to score to make it a 9-7 game in favor of the Pack.

Down 9-7, the Rams made it interesting in the bottom of the ninth inning. With two runners on base and two outs, Norkeh lined a RBI double down the left-field line to bring Angelo State to within one, at 9-8. Kolby Rimer (Sr., St. George, Utah), who gave up the double to Norkeh, ended the game by striking out Sam Kohler with the winning run at second base.

With the win, CSU-Pueblo improves to 40-14 on the season and advances to face the winner of the contest between No. 2 seed St. Edward's and No. 5 seed West Texas A&M Friday at 7 p.m. The 40 wins are the most for the ThunderWolves since the 2009 season. It is the seventh season in program history in which CSU-Pueblo has reached the 40-win plateau.

Angelo State drops to 37-16 overall and will play the winner of the contest featuring No. 1 seed Colorado Mesa and No. 6 seed St. Mary's.

For the contest, the Pack finished with nine runs on 12 hits, no errors and three runners left on base. The Rams registered eight runs on 16 hits, one error and 12 base runners left aboard.

Wyndam Williams (Sr., Golden, Colo.) picked up the win for CSU-Pueblo to improve to 6-1 on the season. Rimer was credited with his first save of the year. Williams and Rimer were two of six relievers who followed starter Zac Wittmus (Sr., Brighton, Colo.). Wittmus worked 4 2/3 innings, gave up six runs on 10 hits, struck out two and walked two.

Graylon Brown was saddled with the loss to fall to 3-3 on the season. South Central Region Pitcher of the Year Steve Naemark started the game for the Rams and gave up four runs on seven hits in 7 2/3 innings.

Wagner and Menocal led the ThunderWolves with three hits apiece. Wagner notched three singles, while Menocal had two doubles and a home run. Bregar finished with a team-best three RBIs. Menocal drove in two runs as did Mascorro. Godman and Menocal tied for the team lead with two runs scored each.

CSU-Pueblo jumped on the scoreboard first, tallying a run in its first at-bat of the contest. Godman started the game with a triple to right-center field and then came on to score on a sacrifice fly out by Mascorro.

Angelo State owned the middle innings, scoring one run in the third, three in the fourth and two more in the fifth to take a 6-1 advantage.

The ThunderWolves erased the five-run deficit thanks to their late-inning comeback. The victory improves the Pack to 10-17 all-time in NCAA Tournament games.  

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As a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Colorado State University – Pueblo competes in 22 varsity sports in NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletics.