Bears Rally To Tie Game in the 9th Inning, Lose in Extra Innings
April 14, 2007
GREELEY, Colo. - The University of Northern Colorado baseball appeared to have captured some more of its "Jackson Field magic" on Saturday, after rallying from four runs down to tie the score at 6-6 in the bottom of the ninth. Though the Bears ended up dropping their first home game of the season, after New Mexico State scored a run in the 10th to win 7-6.
The Aggies (15-21) scored runs in both the second and third innings to go up 2-0, before Northern Colorado (10-18) pulled to within a run in the bottom of the third on a Zach Brockman double followed by a Kevin Sandberg RBI single.
The Bears tallied another run in the fifth after Brockman reached on a fielder's choice and Sandberg again drove him home, this time with a double to the gap in right-center field.
Northern Colorado found trouble in the top of the sixth, when New Mexico State rallied for three runs, all unearned, on three hits coupled with two Bears errors.
The Bears started their late rally in the seventh, when Cory Morales hit a two-out double down the left field line. Brockman followed with a RBI single to center, scoring Morales. Brockman promptly swiped second before Sandberg walked to put runners on the corners. John Ray followed with a clutch single to center to score Brockman and pull the Bears to within two runs at 6-4.
In the eighth, Chad Murray lifted a no-doubt solo homer over the left field wall to make the score 6-5.
Needing a run to tie the score, Brockman opened the bottom of the ninth with a single to left field. Sandberg laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to advance Brockman to second, and into scoring position.
After a strikeout put the Bears down to their final out, Grady Gorman came through with a game-tying RBI single through the left side of the infield, tying the score at 6-6. A strikeout ended the Bears' rally.
In the Aggies' half of the 10th, they put runners on quickly after a four-pitch walk and a bunt single to third. With runners on first and second, Bears' pitcher Tyler Pearson (1-5) started a `strike `em out, throw `em out' double play when he blew a fastball past a NMSU batter on a full count, and Ray threw a strike down to third to nail the runner. However, the Aggies rallied with a single and a double to plate the go-ahead run.
In the bottom of the 10th, Morales got the tying run on base with a two-out bloop single to left. Morales stole second uncontested to put himself in scoring position, but a strikeout ended the game.
Brockman finished a strong afternoon with four hits. He also scored a season-high four runs for the Bears.
Morales finished 3-for-6, while Sandberg went 2-for-3 with a team-high two RBI.
Eric Maydew pitched six innings for the Bears, and allowed six runs, though only three earned, on 10 hits and two walks, while striking out four.
The Bears will conclude the three-game series with a doubleheader on Sunday. The first game starts at noon.