May 24, 2007

Bears Rout Chicago State 17-3 at Independent Championship

May 24, 2007

Box Score

OREM, Utah - With four homers, including Kevin Sandberg's fourth in two days, the University of Northern Colorado baseball team earned its most lopsided win of the season, a 17-3 drubbing of Chicago State, in the second day of the Division I Independent Championship at Utah Valley State's Wolverine Stadium.

Sandberg, John Ray, Cory Morales and Adam Symons all hit longballs for the Bears (15-34), who have scored 29 runs in their two tournaments games, with nine homers.

Morales started the scoring with his two-run first inning homer, scoring Sean Zyer, who had opened the game by drawing a walk. Ray followed by singling to left, and later scored on a wild pitch. Chad Murray ended the scoring with a sacrifice fly to score Sandberg, who had also reached on a walk.

Ray added a RBI groundout in the second to put the Bears up 5-1.

With Matt Collins (3-2) throwing well on the mound, the team's early run support would end up being enough. Collins tossed seven strong innings, and allowed just two runs on five hits while striking out four and not walking anyone.

Northern Colorado put the game away in the fifth, after Ray and Sandberg opened the inning up with back-to-back homers, a feat they also accomplished in Wednesday's game. Then after a Grady Gorman triple, Symons drove him home on a sacrifice fly to right that was misplayed by the Cougars' right fielder, allowing him to reach third, from where he would score on a wild pitch.

The Bears later added another run on a wild pitch in the inning, and Sean Zyer doubled home Trey Keene, as Northern Colorado built a commanding 11-1 lead.

A two-run Symons homer in the sixth, coupled with a RBI double from Gorman - who was a homer shy of the cycle - added to the Bears lead, and Morales, Symons and Anthony Garcia each had a RBI in the final two innings as the Bears scored in all but two frames on the afternoon.

The 17 runs scored was the most since a 20-4 rout of Air Force on May 2, 2006.

Ray and Gorman finished with a game-high three hits, while Symons drove in a game-high four runs and Morales plated three. The team showed extraordinary plate discipline, drawing 11 walks to go with their 13 hits.

Eric Skufca pitching a scoreless eighth inning, striking out a pair of batters and Brian Sizemore closed out the game, allowing a run in the ninth.

The Bears will battle South Dakota State on Friday at 9 a.m. KFKA's Chris Ott will have the call for the game, which will be broadcast live but only through their Web site,