With the conference title on the line and in-state rival
Colorado making the trip north from Boulder, the CSU club baseball
team had one thing in mind: sweep.
“Just close out the season undefeated in our conference is our
goal,” said pitcher Matt Wingate prior to the three-game
That goal did not elude the Rams as they beat the Buffaloes 6-4
and 8-3 in Saturday’s doubleheader and 0-0 in Sunday’s finale.
The sweep clinched the Rocky Mountain Conference title for the
Rams and an automatic berth in the National Collegiate Baseball
Association World Series in Bradelton, Fla., starting May 26.
The excitement started Saturday with Wingate on the mound for
CSU clinging to a 3-1 lead in the top of the fifth inning. Wingate
had battled in and out of trouble throughout the game, but Colorado
did not capitalize on scoring opportunities until the fifth when a
two-run double propelled the Buffaloes to a 4-3 lead.
“We just had to stay in the ballgame and hope our batters
(would) come through; get some hits, get on base and get some
runs,” Wingate said of the Rams’ demeanor after losing the lead.
“We just (had) to get tough and stick with it.”
The Rams followed the plan outlined by their starting pitcher in
their half of the fifth, stringing together timely hits and walks
and setting the table for right fielder Dane Griffin. With runners
in scoring position and one out, Griffin set in with a 2-1 count
and then, “The pitcher made a mistake, threw the ball right down
the middle and I made him pay for it,” he said.
Griffin did indeed, lifting a three-run shot over the left-field
fence to give the Rams the 6-4 lead they would not relinquish.
“That’s what you have to do when you’re playing good teams like
this,” Griffin said.
The Rams used the momentum gained from that comeback victory in
Game 1 and put four runs on the board in the bottom of the first in
Game 2 to take a quick 4-0 lead.
“You definitely take the momentum from the first game, it’s key
to win that first game, put that under your belt and take it into
the next game,” Griffin said.
With hurler Andrew Abell on the mound throwing his mid-to-high
80s fastball, those four runs would be all the Rams would need as
they coasted to a the 8-3 victory.
“Tell you the truth I got a little tired, but the adrenaline
picked up and I kind of carried on that for the last inning,” said
Abell, who pitched all seven to record the complete-game
CSU’s Austin Tillack led the offensive attack in Game 2 with a
three-run, wind-aided home run to right and a RBI single. Damon
Myers chipped in with a pair of hits, including a two-run double in
The Rams now face some downtime before returning to play in
Florida the final week of May.
“We need to make sure we’re healthy,” said head coach Frank
Gonzalez. “We’re going to pick up some non-league games with some
local teams, anybody we can play … whatever we can do to get some
games in hopefully every week and maybe on a weekday
As for now they plan to bask in the limelight of their
undefeated conference season.