ThunderWolves storm Highlands 14-8 in series opener

ThunderWolves storm Highlands 14-8 in series opener

LAS VEGAS, N.M. (March 17, 2017) –  Colorado State University-Pueblo Baseball rolled through New Mexico Highlands University 14-8 Friday in the first game of a four-game series between the two squads. 

The ThunderWolves have now won five consecutive Friday games as they improved to 11-12 with a 5-4 record in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference games. The Cowboys fell to 7-13 (3-6 RMAC).

For the first time this season, Kyle Lazcano (Sr., Anaheim Hills, Calif.) lasted a full nine innings to earn the win. Lazcano allowed eight runs, but only two were earned. He also struck out seven Cowboys to up his league lead to 52 Ks in 2017. Lazcano surrendered nine hits and just one walk as he moved to 4-0 on the season.

Zach Hoffman (Jr., South Jordan, Utah) ignited the Pack's offense out of the lead off spot. Hoffman went 3-for-6 with three RBIs and two runs scored. He also stole a base.

Shortstop Brandon Castaneda (Sr., Azusa, Calif.) reached base four times in six trips with three hits and a walk. Castaneda plated two runs and scored twice. 

Chris Devery (Jr., Saugus, Calif.) also finished 3-for-5 with two doubles. Devery drove in a run and also scored twice.

Jorge Duarte (Jr., San Luis, Ariz.) matched Devery and Castaneda with a 3-for-5 day. Hitting out of the ninth spot, Duarte picked up two RBIs and cross the plate twice.

Returning to his home state, David Gunther (Sr., Albuquerque, N.M.) scored twice on a 2-or-4 day.  Gunther also knocked in a run and stole a base.

Gilbert Sauceda (So., Indio, Calif.) led the Pack with three runs scored. He went 1-for-4 with a pair of walks.

With two outs in the first inning, Sauceda kept the inning alive for the Pack with a walk. After an Ambrose Romero (Jr., Albuquerque, N.M.) single, Sauceda scored on a Castaneda single to give the Pack a 1-0 lead.

Highlands took the lead in the bottom half. The Cowboys scored two runs to make it 2-1.

CSU-Pueblo would ensure this lead would be short lived with a six-run second inning that made it 7-2. Highlands answered with a six-run fourth to reclaim the lead at 8-7.

Down by one, the Pack responded in the seventh by sending 12 men to the plate. CSU-Pueblo erased the deficit with six more runs to jump in front 13-8. Jason Lighthall (Jr., Littleton, Colo.) drove in the second of his two runs to cap the six –run inning. 

In the top of the ninth, Castaneda came home one more time on a Tanner Fuhrmann (Jr., Scottsdale, Ariz.)  sacrifice fly to put the Pack up 14-8. Lazcano would shut the door in the ninth to finish what he started and give the Pack a 14-8 win.

The Pack and the Cowboys will play a doubleheader Saturday starting at 12 p.m. Game two is expected to start at 3 p.m.

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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.