The 27th ranked ThunderWolves entered Friday’s double dip having won the last four meetings with Nebraska-Kearney dating back to last year.
The Pack held off a late ninth-inning charge by the Lopers in game one when Ian O’Connor struck out Griff Watson leaving the bases loaded to secure the Pack an 11-10 victory. In game two, the Pack rallied late to get the win 6-4 extending the streak to six games.
Jon Proesl entered the day with a team season-high six-game hitting streak, and didn’t take long to extend it. The leadoff hitter for the Pack singled through the six-hole on a first pitch fastball extending the streak to seven, later coming around to score. Proesl finished game one with a team high four hits. The streak was snapped in game two as Proesl was 0-for-1 with two walks.
Ryan Wrobel, the starting pitcher in game one for the Lopers, who was named the 2008 RMAC Preseason Pitcher of the Year, hadn’t lived up to expectations thus far this season. In the three games he had started, he’d gone 1-2 with a disgusting 11.37 ERA and a WHIP of 2.37. Friday wasn’t much better, lasting only 2.2 innings while giving up nine hits and surrendering eight earned runs.
Matt Wismann, in only his fourth start of the season, had a single, double and triple in his first three at bats going 3-for-4 in game one with 3 RBI.
In game one Johnny Zepeda, Wismann and Proesl, the eight, nine and one-hole hitters for the Pack, went 9-for-13 in game one combining for nine of the team’s 11 RBI, six runs and 18 total bases.
“They just stepped up and had good swings. They all got good pitches to hit and swung the bat awesome,” CSU-Pueblo coach Stan Sanchez said.
Game two had the looks of a pitcher’s duel, until the top of the fifth inning when the Lopers put up four runs. The rally was highlighted by a bases loaded double off the left field wall by first basemen Joe Nowacyzk plating two runs, and chasing Pack starter Matt Davitt from the game.
The Pack didn’t get their first hit off of Kearney starter Ryan Sheldon in the second game until Kyle Hanson broke up the no hit bid with a lined single over the shortstop’s head igniting the Pack with nobody out in the bottom of the sixth.
“It was dead in the dugout and we needed to get something done. Then Hack (Hanson) broke (the no-hitter) up,” junior shortstop Wismann said.
Sheldon was chased from the game later in the inning after giving up two hits, hitting two batters and giving up one walk.
Nick Hall came into pitch with runners at first and third. The first batter to face him was Jason Fobes who grounded out scoring at RBI and tying up the game. The Pack then got their offense back from the first game when Wismann completed his 2-game cycle with a home-run to give the Pack a 6-4 lead, followed by Ryan Wager’s triple.
“I was just trying to hit the ball hard somewhere,” Wismann said. “I felt good, I’m just seeing the ball well.”
The Pack has now won six straight games against the Lopers, and will square off again tomorrow with the last two games of the four game set. The games will start at noon and 3:00 p.m. at Rawlings Field. The Pack will send Joe Proto to the mound for game one and Jesus Hernandez will chuck in game two.