PUEBLO, Colo. (February 11, 2017) – In the rubber match of the first ever series between the Steel & Silver Trophy rivals, Colorado State University-Pueblo could not close out University of Colorado Colorado Springs. The Mountain Lions rallied from four-down to deal the Pack an 8-7 loss in 11 innings at Rawlings Field Saturday.
CSU-Pueblo left 15 runners on base as they fell to 2-4 in 2017. The upstart Mountain Lions moved to 4-3 in their inaugural season after winning the non-conference series.
Pack starter Kyle Lazcano (Sr., Anaheim Hills, Calif.) was brilliant for the second consecutive week. Lazcano lasted six innings, surrendering only one earned run. He fanned nine Mountain Lions to set a new career-high in strikeouts. He limited UCCS to just four hits and two walks. Despite leaving the game with a 6-2 lead, Lazcano did not walk away with the win.
While the Pack's offensive production was spread out, Zach Hoffman (Jr., South Jordan, Utah), reached base four times in six trips. Hoffman scored a run and added an RBI. He also stole two bases.
Mason Telander (Jr., Colorado Springs, Colo.) also got on board four times. Telander went 2-for-4 and also drew pair of walks in his first start CSU-Pueblo. He scored a run for the Pack.
Tanner Furhmann (Jr., Flagstaff, Ariz.) mashed his first Pack home run. He finished the day 1-for-2.
The Pack wasted no time getting on the scoreboard. After Lazcano dispatched the Mountain Lions, Jake Boyd (Jr., Salt Lake City, Utah) led off the bottom of the first with a base knock. He would steal both second and third. Hoffman would give chase reaching on a walk and stealing second. Boyd came around to score on an Ambrose Romero (Jr., Albuquerque, N.M.) groundout, while Hoffman scored on a Derron Davis (Sr., Las Vegas, Nev.) flyout to give the Pack a 2-0 after one.
Telander led off the second inning with walk. He came around on a Gilbert Sauceda (So., Indio, Calif.) single to give the Pack a 3-0 lead. Sauceda now has a 16-game hitting streak dating back to last season.
UCCS would cut the Pack's led to one in the fourth. A pair of Pack errors allowed the Mountain Lions to pick up two runs and make it 3-2.
Sauceda led off the home half of the fourth with a triple. Hoffman knocked in the run with a base hit of his own to make it 4-2.
Two more runs came in for the Pack in the fifth. David Gunther (Sr., Albuquerque, N.M.) and Boyd both scored on pass balls as the ThunderWolves pushed the lead to 6-2. However, they would strand two runners on base for the fifth consecutive inning.
The Mountain Lions began their rally in the seventh with a three-run home run off the Pack's bullpen to cut the lead to 6-5. Colton Follet (Jr., Simi Valley, Calif.) entered the game in the eighth for the Pack. Follet retried the first five men he faced with little difficulty. However, the 27th out proved difficult for the Pack. Down to their final chance, the Mountain Lions scored two runs to take their first lead of the game 8-7 in the ninth.
The Mountain Lions summoned their closer, Joe Slocum to try and shut down the Pack. Like Follett, he retried his first two batters quickly. With his team down to their final out, Fuhrmann stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the ninth and blasted a home run to the deepest part center field to tie the game at seven and send it to extra innings.
It looked like CSU-Pueblo was seconds away from victory in the 10th inning. With runners on first and second, Davis smacked a drive that looked like it was targeted for the gap in left-center. However, UCCS Left-Fielder Tyler Keil made an incredible diving catch and throw double play that sent the game to the 11th inning.
On the first pitch of the 11th, UCCS' Zach Hall hit a home run to make it 8-7. Colin Pratt would enter in the bottom of the 11th and close out the Pack.
Josh Nuernberg (Sr., Las Vegas, Nev.) took the loss for the Pack. Slocum left Pueblo with the win.
The Pack will continue their 10-game season opening homestand with a pod next weekend against Regis University and Adams State University. CSU-Pueblo will face the Rangers in game one of this pod Friday at 1 p.m. The Pack will continue pod play Saturday with a 2 p.m. showdown with the Grizzlies. Sunday Feb. 19 will feature a doubleheader for the Pack as they face the Rangers at 11 a.m. and Adams State at 3 p.m. to conclude the homestand.
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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.