Grizzlies drop three RMAC games at Metro State


DENVER—Adams State University preserved a 1-0 lead entering the fourth inning but Metropolitan State University of Denver scored 11 unanswered runs en route to an 11-1 win over the Grizzlies (9-17, 3-9 RMAC) during Sunday's series finale at the Regency Athletic Complex.

The loss comes after dropping two on Saturday, 17-3 and 4-1, and winning the series opener on Friday, 5-4.

In the win, the Grizzlies posted a pair of runs in the second and seventh innings, respectively, as starting pitcher Daniel Brennan (1-2) tossed 7.0 innings en route to his first win for the Green & White. Ryne Niemi led the offense with a 2-for-3 night at the dish with a double, RBI, and run scored.

A pair of Metro State errors helped Adams State obtain a 2-0 lead in the second. With one out and the bases loaded, a Nick Hill fielder's choice scored Marco Garmendia and Thomaslee Mares. In the fourth, a Derek Denovellis RBI single to right field scored Garmendia from second base to extend the ASU lead to 3-0.

The Roadrunners responded with three unanswered runs to knot the game at 3-3 after six innings but ASU quickly made it a 5-3 game with two runs in the seventh as Niemi's RBI double scored Hill with a Dustin Kachel RBI single scoring Niemi.

Mason Munford (S, 4) entered the game in the ninth with two runners on and no outs but retired three consecutive batters to end the game despite Metro State tacking on a run in the process off a sacrifice fly. In Munford's relief appearance, the senior notched his team-leading fourth save of the season.

In the start, Brennan allowed three runs off seven hits with six strikeouts and only one walk. Ryan Ferguson entered the game to begin the bottom of the eighth and recorded two strikeouts while allowing one run in 1.0 inning on the mound.

On Saturday, Marco Garmendia belted a solo home run in the top of the second to place Adams State with an early 1-0 lead. Back-to-back singles from Ryne Niemi and Dylan April followed but any further runs were halted with a double play to end the inning.

The Grizzlies lost the lead in the bottom of the frame as the Roadrunners grabbed two runs. Starter Josh Keaton (3-4) allowed a double and single to begin the inning but struck out his next two batters. Unfortunately a two RBI triple would occur before Keaton was able to notch the third, and final, out.

After connecting for a run and three hits in the second inning, the ASU offense went silent and was held hitless until a Evan Weidner single in the sixth. April hit a double to right field in the seventh but ASU was unable to send another run across home plate.

In defeat, April hit 2-for-3 as Garmendia went 1-for-2 with his solo home run in the second. Keaton tossed 6.0 innings, allowing four runs off 10 hits. The senior fanned seven batters with three walks while forcing seven ground outs.

The Roadrunners scored in all but one inning during their 17-3 game two win as the ASU offense was held hitless until a Weidner single in the fourth.

The tough outing resulted in Head Coach Jim Capra utilizing five pitchers as starter Chance Ward (0-2) was unable to escape the first inning after allowing six runs off five hits in 0.2 innings of work. After Ward's exit, relievers Ryan Ferguson, Ty Gavin, Dylan Sherry, and Brett Aker each entered the game. Aker spent the longest time on the mound with 2.1 innings of work with one run allowed off one hit with three walks and a strikeout.

Garmendia scored ASU's first run in the sixth off a wild pitch. In the seventh, Codi Guillory notched a RBI single to centerfield and Patrick Huffaker had a RBI sacrifice fly to complete ASU's scoring in Saturday's finale.

At the plate, Niemi finished 2-for-3 with a run scored as Guillory went 1-for-2 with a RBI.

Sunday's starting pitcher Casey Weber (2-3) cruised through three innings with four strikeouts and one hit allowed before the Roadrunners (17-13, 12-10 RMAC) pushed their first run across home plate in the fourth. Metro State followed with a six-run fifth inning and four runs in the seventh to pull away from Adams State.

A Thomaslee Mares RBI fielder's choice in the first gave ASU a 1-0 lead. The play scored Dustin Kachel who reached base with a leadoff single. After Kachel's leadoff knock, the Grizzlies went hitless until an Evan Weidner single in the third. Weidner added another single in the sixth to account for two of ASU's four hits on Sunday. Erik Hildebrandt singled in the eighth for ASU's final hit in the series finale.

On the mound, Weber threw 4.2 innings with seven runs allowed off eight hits with five strikeouts and three walks. Weidner finished 2-for-3 as Kachel went 1-for-4 with a run scored. Beau Lofink tossed 2.0 innings with four runs off seven hits as Adam Molina finished the game with 1.1 innings of work and allowed only one hit along with a strikeout.

The Grizzlies host Colorado Christian University for a four-game series beginning March 31st. First pitch of game one is scheduled for 3pm at the ASU Baseball Field.