Following a disappointing trip to Arizona where it lost five straight games, CSUâ€™s club baseball team was able to right the ship Thursday night in Fort Collins, defeating Wyoming in a seven-inning game 10-3.
After an early Wyoming home run given up by starting pitcher Zach Oâ€™Farrell, the Rams managed to take a 4-3 lead over Wyoming through the first three-and-a-half innings.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Ramsâ€™ offense started to put the game out of reach, extending its lead to 7-3 during a three-run inning powered by shortstop Colton Duffyâ€™s two-run home run.
â€œWe came out kind of flat,â€ Duffy said. â€œIt was good to see us kind of pick it up, bear down, stick to our approaches, kind of stick to what weâ€™ve been working on and start putting good swings on it.â€
CSU held a 7-3 lead after the rally and never looked back, utilizing three different pitchers during the remaining three innings to hold Wyoming scoreless through the end of the game.
During a non-conference game where many underclassmen got playing time, the efficiency of the pitchers during the game is what stood out to CSU coach Mike Abernathy.
Freshman pitcher Takeshi Harashima closed out the game for the Rams, and got ahead 0-2 in the count against every batter he faced en route to striking out the side.
â€œ(Takeshi) there at the end of the game threw well, threw a lot of strikes,â€ Abernathy said. â€œZach Oâ€™Farrell started the game, gave up some runs early, gave up that home run there, but settled down, got out of some tough situations, but I thought those two guys were fantastic.â€
The win for the Rams could not have come at a better time after their five-game losing streak, as the game Thursday night marks the first of a five-game home-stand before a road game against Nebraska Community College followed by eight consecutive conference games.
â€œWe struggled a little bit in Arizona on the spring trip,â€ Abernathy said. â€œI think we played some teams that were better than us, we were overmatched a little bit, we played hard, but to come out here and get a win, especially leading up to some conference games later on this year, I think it was huge.â€
The Rams will now play four games against Western State College, with double headers on Saturday and Sunday before starting conference play March 31.
â€œWeâ€™ll see if weâ€™ll be able to pick it up and keep it rolling as we start (going) into conference play next weekend,â€ Duffy said. â€œI think itâ€™s huge for us to get out, and have a decent win.â€
Club baseball beat reporter Andrew Schaller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Result: CSU:10 Wyoming: 3
Up Next: CSU vs. Western State College
When: Saturday at noon and 2 p.m.
Where: City Park Fort Collins, Colo.