Bears Explode for 14 Runs in Home Opener
April 6, 2007
GREELEY, Colo. - While the weather continued its efforts to remain the Northern Colorado baseball team's toughest opponent this season, the Bears were finally able to have their home opener on Friday, warming up a frigid Jackson Field with an offensive explosion that netted them a 14-5 victory over Texas - Pan American.
It didn't take long for the Bears (8-17) to get up on the visiting Broncs (13-23), when the the team's second batter, Cory Morales jumped on an 0-1 offering, sending the pitch over the leftfield wall to plate leadoff hitter Nate Saylor and give the Bears a 2-0 lead.
Before the first inning was over, the Bears would put three more runs on the board to go up 5-0. Grady Gorman and Adam Symons had RBI singles in the inning, and Symons scored on an error by the Broncs' leftfielder, one of three errors on the day for the visitors.
Northern Colorado didn't slow down after its hot start, scoring another two runs in the second, and chasing UTPA's starter from the game after he walked the bases loaded.
Gorman was the first Bear to face the new pitcher, and sent a 1-1 pitch back up the middle to score two more runners.
The Bears provided more offensive support than starter Dan Kazell (1-1) would need, as the junior would surrender three runs - and only two earned runs - through six innings, before allowing two more in the seventh, after the game was out of reach.
After the Broncs got on the board with three runs in top of the third, Saylor continued the Bears' scoring run with a solo shot to left to open the third.
Ray would later score on an error to cap the inning.
Texas - Pan American would put two more runs on in the seventh, but the Bears would answer with another big inning in the eighth, scoring four runs.
Ray opened the inning by sending a high fastball down the leftfield line. After another pitching change, the Bears loaded the bases with a walk and a hit batsman before Jeff Horn drove home Ray on sacrifice fly to left. A final UTPA error allowed Trey Keene to score, and then Symons crossed the plate on a wild pitch. Morales then capped his stellar afternoon with a two-out double, scoring Saylor.
Morales finished the afternoon 3-for-4 with three RBI, while Ray also had three hits, and drove in a run.
Kazell's impressive line included nine strikeouts to just two walks, before giving way to Sean Peery, who pitched two shutout innings with two strikeouts and two walks allowed.
The Bears conclude their series with the Broncs' tomorrow with a doubleheader at Jackson Field, starting at 11 a.m.