By Spencer Daniels
The Thunderwolf baseball team recorded their first RMAC series sweep this past weekend at Rawlings Field over the Cowboys of New Mexico Highlands University.
In game one, the Thunderwolves played under the lights at Rawlings Field for the first time this season, led by a strong start from Danny Honorov. The left-hander dealt eight innings of work and threw 126 pitches on his way to his first win in a Pack uniform. He recorded seven strikeouts and allowed just six hits and two walks on the way to an 8-2 victory. The Cowboys’ only two runs came on a home run from Garrett Hammer.
On the offensive side, Jason Lighthall smacked a three-run home run to get the Pack on the board in the second inning. Lighthall would finish 2-for-4 on the day. Mason Kreuger went 3-for-5 at the dish with an RBI, two stolen bases and two runs scored. Both Gil Sauceda and Zach Hoffman would finish the day with multiple hits and an RBI each.
In game two, the Pack put up two runs in the first inning and tacked on another in the fourth. The score was 3-1 when starting pitcher Jason Lighthall left the game in the seventh. He would finish the game with six innings pitched, one earned run and 8 strikeouts. Then, Pack reliever Tanner Fuhrmann would take over on the mound and not even record an out. Furhmann allowed two earned runs in the seventh inning, which would make it a tie ballgame. Senior Zach Hoffman came in and got out of the jam and then threw a hitless two innings.
In extra innings with the score tied at three, Mason Kreuger drew a walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jordyn Compehos. Then with two outs, Jorge Duarte drove a ball over the center fielder’s head for a walk-off double.
Then in game two of the Saturday doubleheader, the Pack offense erupted for 12 runs. Freshman Brandon Maes slugged two home runs and three RBIs and reached base in all of his plate appearances. Seven different Pack players recorded RBIs in the game including Duarte who added two more on his big day.
Junior Gil Sauceda threw 5 innings of four-hit ball and gave up just one run in his first win as a pack pitcher. Nate Dominguez would come on to close it out in the final two innings, good for a 12-1 final score.
The Cowboys outhit the Thunderwolves 12-4 Sunday, but the Pack won the ballgame in walk-off fashion.
The Cowboys’ pitcher, Kaleb Whitlock gave up just three hits in seven innings of work. He was lights out with 8 strikeouts, although a bit wild at times, allowing five walks.
The Pack offense was silenced after the first inning, in which Brandon Maes drove in two runs on a single to right field. They did not score again until the eighth, when Dakota Popham hit an RBI single and Mason Kreuger scored on a wild pitch.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Pack had runners on first and second with the game two hero, Jorge Duarte at the plate. Duarte clubbed a fastball into right field to score the game winning RBI and his second walk-off win of the weekend.
The Pack will host Colorado Mesa for a four-game series next weekend at Rawlings Field.