PUEBLO, Colo. (April 8, 2017) – Colorado State University – Pueblo Baseball could not overcome five errors and five early runs surrendered as they fell to New Mexico Highlands University 6-4 Saturday afternoon at Rawlings Field.
The Pack holds a 14-18 record overall. They stand 8-10 in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference games. Despite committing three errors of their own, the Cowboys improved to 12-22 (8-14 RMAC).
Jason Lighthall (Jr., Littleton, Colo.) anchored the Pack's offense with two hits in five trips. Lighthall plated three of the Pack's four runs.
Zach Hoffman (Jr., South Jordan, Utah) slugged two of the Pack's eight hits. Hoffman would also score a run and steal his 11th base of the season.
Morgan Smith (R-Fr., Aurora, Colo.) had a career-high two hits. Smith finished 2-for-5 with a run scored.
After the Cowboys got on the board with a run in the top of the first, the Pack answered in their half of the opening frame. A base knock by Lighthall drove in David Gunther (Sr., Albuquerque, N.M.) and Brandon Castaneda (Sr., Azusa, Calif.) Both Gunther and Castaneda had reach on walks. Lighthall's single put the Pack up 2-1 after one.
The Cowboys would tie in the third. The visitors would push across three more runs in the fourth to put the Pack in a 5-2 hole.
Lighthall came through with another RBI single in the fifth. Smith came around to score as the pack trimmed the Cowboy lead to two.
Both teams would score in the eighth. Derron Davis (Sr., Las Vegas, Nev.)brought in Hoffman with a single up the middle to cut the lead to 6-4.
The Pack had a chance to walk off in the ninth. Castaneda and Gilbert Sauceda (So., Indio, Calif.) both got on base to start the bottom of the ninth. However, NMHU's Avery Brandon would strike out the next three ThunderWolves to earn the save and preserve the Cowboys 6-4 win.
Dylan Norris got the win for NMHU. He improved to 3-1 with a six-inning outing. Kyle Peeler (Sr., Las Vegas, Nev.) took the loss for the Pack as his record moved to 1-5. Peeler gave up five runs in four innings.
Josh Nuernberg (Sr., Las Vegas, Nev.) and Colton Follet ( Jr., Simi Valley, Calif.) combined for five innings of relief without allowing an earned run. Nuernberg went 3.1 innings, while striking out three and allowing one hit and a walk.
The Pack will meet the Cowboys in a rematch Sunday at 12 p.m. CSU-Pueblo will conclude its four-game pod at 3 p.m. when the face Adams State University at Rawlings Field.
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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.