ALAMOSA — It wasn't the start Adams State University envisioned but a dramatic 16-15 game two win over Colorado Christian University gave the Grizzlies a Sunday doubleheader split against the Cougars.
Colorado Christian grabbed an 8-4 win in game one before Adams State bested their RMAC foe 16-15 in extra innings during game two.
The Grizzlies (10-20, 4-12 RMAC) fell 19-16 in game one followed by a 16-6 defeat in game two against the Cougars (11-19, 5-11 RMAC).
Adams State now travels to Pueblo to begin a four-game RMAC pod series against Colorado State University-Pueblo and New Mexico Highlands University. The Grizzlies will face both teams twice beginning with CSU-Pueblo on April 7th at 12 p.m..
In Sunday's first game, the Cougars jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first and tacked on four more runs in the fourth inning to pull away from the Grizzlies.
Adams State got on the board with a run in the third and two more an inning later but it wasn't enough to match Colorado Christian's run production. A Grizzly run in the seventh cut the deficit to 7-4 but the Cougars added another run in the ninth to bring the game to an 8-4 final.
Marco Garmendia paced the offense with a 3-for-5 performance with two RBI. Garmendia picked up an RBI in the third off a single and another RBI in the seventh via a double to left field. Tony Stanich hit 3-for-4 with a run scored as Evan Weidner and Nick Hill each tacked on two hits apiece in defeat.
Daniel Brennan (1-3) picked up the loss in 8.0 innings on the mound with seven runs allowed off nine hits. The redshirt sophomore struck out four batters and walked three off 113 net pitches. With the exception of the first, fourth, and seventh innings, Brennan tallied a total of five 1-2-3 frames.
In the second game and only game the Grizzlies won, fans were greeted with a wild ending in game two as ASU ultimately prevailed, 16-15, in extra innings.
In the scheduled seven inning affair, the two RMAC foes combined for 359 net pitches, 35 hits, 31 runs, and nine extra-base hits.
Momentum pointed towards ASU as the Grizzlies controlled a 10-5 lead through five innings. ASU jumped out early with a five-run first inning followed by three runs in the second. The game's narrative soon changed as CCU tallied a total of 10 runs in the fifth, sixth, and seventh inning to take a 13-11 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh.
The Grizzlies followed through with a two-run frame thanks to RBI knocks from Weidner and Garmendia to force extra innings. The Cougars answered with two runs in the eighth to push ahead 15-13. Once again, the Grizzlies needed a desperate answer in the bottom of the frame to either extend the game or end it.
The Grizzlies quickly loaded the bases with no outs thanks to a Thomaslee Mares walk, a Ryne Niemi single, and Grant Templin reaching base via a CCU error. With the bases juiced, Nick Hill promptly connected for a two RBI ground-rule double to score Niemi and Mares. Three batters later and now with one out, and ASU runners on the corners, Weidner stepped into the batter's box. The senior lifted a RBI single into right center to give ASU a walk-off win in dramatic fashion.
Weidner finished game two hitting 4-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored. Erik Hildebrandt recorded a 3-for-5 day at the plate with a RBI and three runs scored. Dylan April, Mares, and Niemi also chipped in a multi-hit game. In the win, ASU recorded a single-game high 18 hits and 16 runs.
Mason Munford (1-0) recorded his first win of the season in 2.0 innings of work. The senior battled to the tune of 52 net pitches with four runs allowed off five hits. Starter Josh Keaton threw 5.1 innings with seven strikeouts and three walks allowed off 94 net pitches.
On Monsay, the Grizzlies took a 4-3 lead through four innings but the Cougars exploded for a seven-run fifth inning to take a 10-4 lead. Adams State tacked on another run in the bottom of the frame but CCU responded with three more runs in the sixth. ASU reached within one via a seven-run effort in the seventh to cut the deficit to 13-12. Unfortunately the slugfest continued for CCU with a five-run eighth. ASU added four more runs in their final two frames but CCU added another run of their own during that span to keep separation during the 19-16 win.
In defeat, ASU produced 16 runs off 17 hits with three errors. Erik Hildebrandt continued to thrive at the plate during the series with a 4-for-6 performance at the dish with three runs scored and a RBI. Evan Weidner hit 3-for-4 with a RBI and run scored while Michael Downs, Ryne Niemi, and Thomaslee Mares each had two hits apiece. In his lone at-bat Sawyer Morain belted a two RBI home run over the right field fence. ASU finished game one with six extra-base hits and three stolen bases.
Casey Weber (2-4) picked up the loss in 4.2 innings in a starting role. Weber allowed nine runs off seven hits with three strikeouts. Dylan Sherry, Chance Ward, Beau Lofink, and Ryan Ferguson each made a relief appearance during the loss.
The series concluded with offense heavy game but it unfortunately went in CCU's favor as ASU dropped the finale by a 16-6 score.
The Cougars scored in all but one inning and took a 9-6 lead into the fourth inning. Moving forward the Grizzlies were unable to send another runner across home plate while the Cougars added seven more runs in the final three innings.
Weidner and Mares each connected for two hits apiece in the loss as Grant Templin had a team-best two RBI game. Both of Weidner's hits were doubles. Ty Gavin (0-1) earned the start but lasted 1.2 innings on the mound. Gavin allowed eight runs off seven hits as Brett Aker and Bryce Rone both made relief appearances.
The Grizzly offense accounted for 42 runs in the four-game series but the Cougars bested ASU by scoring 58 runs.
Photo by Ima Lucero.
Michael Skinner is the ASU Sports Information Director.