Oredigger Comback Falls Short Against CSUP In RMAC Tourney
PUEBLO – The Colorado School of Mines baseball team nearly overcame a 5-0 deficit and a 15-to-7 hits advantage for CSU-Pueblo on Friday, but fell to the ThunderWolves by a 6-5 final during the consolation round of the RMAC Baseball Tournament at Rawlings Field in Pueblo.
Mines (17-30) saw its season come to a close just one win away from the RMAC Championship game. It was the final game in an Oredigger uniform for seniors Brett Olsson, Matt Poulin, Nick Piehl, Chris Pickett and Tyler Phan Thornton.
A pitchers duel for the first four innings, neither team was able to score a run despite opportunities for both squads.
Mines came close to scoring in the bottom of the second when Garrett Schirmacher reached on an error by the CSU-Pueblo third baseman. Thornton was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second, and a walk by Charlie Basil in the next at-bat loaded up the bases with one out. Piehl grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to get CSUP starter Kyle Clemons out of his first jam of the ballgame.
Mines was forced to get out of a jam of its own in the fourth after the ThunderWolves loaded up the bases with two outs, but starter Ben Gilman reached back with a fastball and struck out Vinnie Mattivi to end the scare, preserving the scoreless game.
After Mines went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the fourth, CSUP was able to erupt offensively with five runs in the top of the fifth to take a 5-0 lead.
Clemons carried a no-hitter into the bottom of the fifth inning, but Mines was able to score two runs before recording a hit. Back-to-back walks to Basil and Piehl to start the inning put runners on first and second, and a fielder's choice by Evan Brown that handcuffed the CSUP third baseman loaded up the bases. Bobby Egeberg then hit into a 6-4-3 double play that scored Basil and got Mines on the board. An error by the CSUP shortstop in Zach Bothwell's at-bat allowed Piehl to score from third, cutting CSUP's lead to 5-2.
A single through the right side by Kyle Wallace broke up Clemens' no-hit bid, and put runners on first and second. Mines would see its rally be cut off when Bothwell was called out at the plate when he tried to score on Schirmacher's fielder's choice up the middle.
After the ThunderWolves added another run in the top of the sixth to take a 6-2 lead, Mines was able to load up the bases once more in the home half of the frame. A pinch-hit, sacrifice fly to centerfield by Jordan Williams scored Thornton from third, trimming the CSUP lead to 6-3. A walk to Egeberg again loaded up the Bases, forcing CSUP to take out Clemens and bring in Jeremiah Struble, and he struck out the next batter to end the inning.
After reliever Pickett put up a zero in the top of the seventh, Mines put runners in scoring position when Schirmacher reached on an infield single to shortstop, and he was moved around to third on a double by Olsson down the left field line. Schirmacher came in to score on Thornton's RBI groundout to second which trimmed the CSUP lead to 6-4.
Pickett got in a jam in the top of the eighth with runners at the corners, and he gave way to Eric Shannon, who proceeded to retire the next three batters in order with two strikeouts to end the scare.
After Egeberg smashed a two-out triple to dead center in the bottom of the eighth, Bothwell drove him in with a single to left center to make the score 6-5 in favor of CSU-Pueblo.
Shannon would stay in to pitch the top of the ninth and he retired the ThunderWolves in order to keep the deficit at just one run.
Mines was not able to generate anything offensively in the bottom of the ninth and was retired in order to end the game and the season.
Despite four scoreless innings to start the game, Gilman took the loss after allowing five earned runs on nine hits over five innings.
Pickett added two innings of one-run relief with six hits allowed. Shannon posted two innings of no-hit baseball to end the game with two strikeouts.
Offensively, Mines was led by Olsson and with a 2-for-5 effort at the plate. He and Pickett both graduated from Mines on Friday, with Pickett earning double degrees in Civil Engineering and Mechanical Engineering and Olsson earning a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Egeberg finished 1-for-4 with a run scored and a triple and Schirmacher finished 1-for-5 with a run scored to add to the Oredigger offense.