The CSU-Pueblo baseball team final got to season long nemesis Ryan Sheldon, the ace of the Nebraska-Kearney pitching staff. In their fourth meeting, CSU-Pueblo finally won, 12-10 to win the RMAC Championship game.The ThunderWolves, which lost its first game in the double-elimination RMAC Tournament Wednesday against Sheldon and the Lopers, won four straight games to claim the conference championship, its first RMAC title since 2004.
The Pack took its first step to a title when it faced Sheldon, who pitched a complete game against the ThunderWolves on Wednesday. Working on just three days rest, Sheldon was facing a ThunderWolf team for the first time in daytime, having held the Pack to a grand total of three runs in three previous nighttime meetings with CSU-Pueblo, all Nebraska-Kearney wins.
But Saturday showed itself to a be a different affair altogether for the Pack, as Tony Pechek (Sr., Pueblo, Colo.) torched Sheldon for a solo homer in the bottom of the first inning, giving the Pack life after starting pitcher Scott Harshman (Sr., Pueblo, Colo.) gave up three runs to the Lopers in the top of the first inning.
In each of the following three innings, CSU-Pueblo kept chipping away at the Lopers’ tall righhander, as Juan Martinez (Jr., Caricuao, Venezuela) launched a solo shot of his own in the second, and Matt Wismann (Sr., Palo Alto, Calif.) matched Martinez and Pechek with the ThunderWolves’ third solo homer of the afternoon. Wismann’s shot gave the Pack a 4-3 lead, and the comeback was enough to make the bottom fall out under Sheldon.
In a wild fifth inning, Kearney committed three errors, shattering Sheldon’s confidence as the Pack sent across four runs in the inning, giving the Pack an 8-4 advantage. Sheldon was yanked during the fifth after giving up eight runs on ten hits, and the Pack bats followed suit by staying hot and buoying the team to victory.