Apr 182004
 
Authors: Josh Pilkington

With the biggest games of the season looming, CSU baseball took

care of business against an overmatched Western State College team

at home over the weekend.

Playing a doubleheader on Saturday, the Rams wasted little time

in sweeping WSC, a team that remains winless for the season, taking

games 1 and 2 by a combined 21-0 score in 10 innings of play. On

Sunday the Rams won again in dominant fashion 11-0.

The 10-run rule came into effect in the fifth inning of

Saturday’s opening game, an 11-0 win, and again in the fifth inning

of Game 2 of the three-game series, a 10-0 win.

“It can be difficult to stay focused when you’re playing against

a team you know you should beat on paper,” said CSU head coach

Frank Rodriguez, whose team remains undefeated against club teams

this season. “We just have to play every team like we would at the

national tournament.”

With the series sweep against Western, the Rams can now focus on

their most important games of the regular season: a three-game home

set with the Colorado Buffaloes.

“They are very important games for us,” said junior pitcher Matt

Wingate, who pitched five shutout innings in Game 1 on Saturday and

is set to start against CU. “Essentially we are the only two

undefeated teams in the conference so whoever wins two out of three

goes to the national tournament.”

If Wingate and the rest of the pitching staff can control their

pitches like they did against Western, the Rams should have a good

chance of taking two-of-three from CU, Rodriguez said.

“I liked how our pitcher pitched (Saturday),” Rodriguez said.

“We stayed ahead in the count, didn’t give up a run; our guys were

hitting their spots while using all their pitches.”

Offensively another solid day from Dane Griffin, similar to the

one he had Saturday, could go a long way to assuring a series win

against the Buffaloes. In Saturday’s doubleheader, the sophomore

just missed hitting for the cycle, as he went 3-for-5 with five

RBIs while rapping a triple, double and single.

“I was just trying to go out there and get some hits,” said

Griffin, who was substituted for a pinch-hitter in the bottom half

of the fifth while needing only a home run to complete the

cycle.

With the Buffs on deck and with the postseason on the line,

Rodriguez said he expects his team to be physically and emotionally

ready this weekend.

“Whether it’s in football, baseball or basketball, it’s a

rivalry,” Rodriguez said. “With what this means, I know our guys

will be pumped and ready to go. It’s a huge weekend for us anyway,

it only adds to it that (the opponent) happens to be the

Buffs.”

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