The cubicles were replaced by dugouts, the suits and ties for caps and cleats, and the TPS reports were overthrown by the long ball. Basically, it was just another weekend at the office for the Rams baseball team.
An offensive barrage by CSU bats produced four key conference wins on Friday and Saturday.
“We’re getting close,” said catcher Austin Tillack of the Rams, who hold a 5 1/2-game lead in the conference. “We put ourselves in a good spot.”
A strong outing by senior pitcher Thomas Ahrens on Saturday morning went nearly unnoticed by fans because of the bats. Ahrens threw a complete game two-hitter against CU in the Rams’ 7-1 victory. With two out in the top of the fifth, Ahrens’ no-hitter was broken up by a solo home run.
“I was locating my fastball on the outer half today,” Ahrens said. “I left a couple pitches up though and he got one.”
Ahrens had plenty of run support working in his favor also. A four-run first inning set the tone of the day and the Rams showed it by sweeping the double dip.
CSU’s Dane Griffin, who leads the nation in triples (5) and won the team’s Green Bat as the best hitter last season, hit his first home run of the year going deep to center in the third inning.
“Being a hitter myself I tell the guys that if you have less than two strikes to swing for the fence,” said head coach Mike Abernathy.
There was no letting up in the second game of the day as CSU scored at least two runs every inning, building off of an eight run first. The Rams used four pitchers in five innings and capped their scoring with a home run by junior Zac Myslivy on their way to the 15-4 victory.
The three home runs hit by the Rams on Saturday followed a six home run performance on Friday night.
“Everybody got into it,” said second baseman David Schultz, who hit one of the six on Friday night.”
CSU took both games against UNC on Friday 12-0 and 14-3, earning the ten run mercy rule in the second game on a grand slam by junior outfielder Doug Falconi.
With the undefeated weekend the Rams move to 11-1 in the conference and 18-8 on the season. After enjoying a successful home stand, they will travel to Laramie this weekend to take on the 3-12 Wyoming Cowboys.
“We’re playing well right now,” Abernathy said. “We need to finish strong going into regionals, and then on to Ohio (the site if the World Series).”