Apr 282002
 
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After taking four games against beleaguered Fort Lewis College this weekend, the CSU baseball team is still in the hunt for a No. 1 seed in the national tournament.

With steady run production and dominating pitching, the Rams handled the FLC team, as three of the four games were stopped early after CSU went up by 10 runs.

“The pitching was awesome,” said CSU head coach Frank Gonzales. “We hit the ball extremely well, and I really liked our defensive play, especially up the middle.”

The Rams took the first two games in convincing fashion, winning both games by a combined score of 23-3. Game one of the Saturday doubleheader proved to be a foreshadowing of the rest of the weekend. The Rams jumped out to a 3-0 first-inning lead with starting pitcher Trevor Brewster allowing no runs on three hits and three strikeouts in three innings. Dallas Strankman came on in relief and continued to dominate Fort Lewis batters with three strikeouts and no runs allowed in one inning.

The Rams piled on the runs in the third inning to take a 10-0 lead as the bats came alive and FLC committed several errors. Tyson Liverant batted 2-2 with two singles and two stolen bases. Colan Scheidenhelm also batted 2-2 with two singles and an RBI, while Brooks Purdy went 1-3 with two RBIs. The game was called at the end of the fifth with the score still 10-0 in favor of the Rams.

Saturday’s second game was more of the same for CSU as the Rams triumphed again, 13-3. Andrew Mauzy started the game and allowed one run in two innings of work while striking out four. Damon Myers batted 3-3 with a single, double and a homerun for three RBIs. Paul Olmsted also knocked one out for the Rams and Scott Musgrave batted 2-3 with a single, a double and an RBI.

Jade Bond came on in relief of Mauzy in the third inning and recorded the save.

“We came out ready to play today,” Myers said. “It’s all about getting into the groove and getting a good pitch to hit.”

Barry Cleveland recorded the win for the Rams in the first game on Sunday. Cleveland pitched three innings, allowed only one run and struck out three batters. The Rams once again got hit after hit against the FLC pitching and once again the game was stopped after the fifth with CSU on top, 12-1. Mike Corbett batted 2-2 with a single and a solo homerun, and Musgrave was perfect at 3-3 with two singles and a double. Olmsted went deep again for the Rams with his second homer of the series, and Purdy continued to shine at the plate with two doubles and two walks.

“The bats were on fire, which was pretty nice to see for a change,” Musgrave said.

The Rams will continue with their stretch of nine games in seven days on Tuesday when they take on the University of Northern Colorado at 3:30 p.m. on the CSU field.

MEN’S LACROSSE

A huge win over rival Brigham Young propelled the CSU lacrosse team to the RMILL Championship over the weekend in Provo, Utah. The returning USLIA National Champion Rams took on University of Colorado on Friday and after trailing for most of the game, made a comeback for a 9-8 win. Freshman midfielder Tim Farquhar scored five goals for the Rams, who moved on to face Brigham Young in the final. BYU had defeated the Rams earlier in the season 17-10.

“We played better in every part of the game,” said junior goalie Alex Smith. “Jeff Schmid on defense was just stellar.”

With the championship on the line, the Rams marched to a 16-7 win. After the game was tied in the first quarter, the Rams took the lead and never trailed again.

“This was the first complete game we’ve really played,” Smith said. “When we click, we’re a great team.”

The Rams will now receive an automatic bid to the USLIA National Tournament, where they will defend last year’s championship as a possible No.3 seed.

WOMEN’S LACROSSE

The CSU women’s lacrosse team also wrapped up its season over the weekend in Fort Collins. However, the Rams were knocked out of the CWLA tournament after losing to the University of Northern Colorado, a team they had defeated earlier in the season. The women went 1-2 overall during the weekend, with a 11-3 win over the Colorado West Club and a 7-4 loss to the Colorado Central Club, a post-collegiate team.

“This was a big upset,” said junior Nikki Wingate. “It’s not a fun way to end the season.”

The Rams had high hopes for the tournament after going undefeated in the pool play of the Stanford Tournament two weeks ago. But the young Ram team could not find a way to win.

“We have a lot to build on for next year,” Wingate said. “This season was a learning experience for us and our two new coaches. We’ll come out strong next year.”

CYCLING

The CSU cycling team was competing throughout the region this weekend with the road team in Laramie for the Collegiate Regionals and the mountain team at the Fruita Fat Tire Festival.

Two CSU mountain bikers took first place in their respective divisions at the Fat Tire Festival. Nick Ranno placed first out of 40 racers in the men’s expert division for 19-to 24-year-olds with a time of one hour, 25 minutes.

Justin Maka also finished first in the men’s sport division for 19- to 24-year-olds, coming in with a time of one hour, 31 minutes.

The CSU road team also had success in Wyoming, despite facing some of the best college riders from around the region. In Saturday’s 50-mile road race, Jeff Pink finished eighth and Steve Owens finished ninth for the Rams while racing in adverse conditions. In the 70-mile road race on Sunday, Owens finished fifth. The team also competed in the team time trial, but did not finish in the top 15. n

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