Apr 19, 2010 6:09 AM
PUEBLO, Colo. (Apr. 18, 2010) - The ThunderWolves' 'Pack the Park' game was an unabashed success Sunday night as the ThunderWolves grabbed a 7-4 win in front of over 2,000 fans at Hobbs Field at the Runyon Sports Complex.
The Pack officially made it two wins Sunday, as "Pack the Park" was the stage for the conclusion of Saturday night's Regis/CSU-Pueblo game that was called due to darkness at Ranger Field in Regis due to darkness after six innings with a 14-12 ThunderWolf lead. CSU-Pueblo preserved that lead Sunday night, earning a 14-13 win.
The anticlimactic start to the night didn't damper the performance of starter Matt Cole (Jr., Walnut, Calif.). The Pack's hurler brought perhaps the most experience on the team playing in front of large crowds - Cole played two seasons for the ThunderWolf football team in front of record crowds before leaving the team to switch to baseball - and used that experience to pitch the game of his life.
Cole threw a masterpiece for eight innings, logging 99 pitches and allowing just two runs on three hits, striking out three. He shrugged off an early hiccup, allowing a solo home run to Patrick Farrell in the second inning, and proceeded to mow down 18 of the next 21 batters.
Behind Cole's strong pitching, the ThunderWolf bats were given license to tee off, exploding in four runs in the fourth inning, headlined by a two-run double by Kyle Wager (Jr., Globe, Ariz.) that almost cleared the wall, giving the Pack a 5-1 lead it wouldn't relinquish.
The night was special as the preceding Art and Lorraine Gonzales Youth Baseball Clinic attracted over 500 youth baseball players from the Pueblo community. The game's final attendance of 2,052, although short of the NCAA Division II attendance record of 3,683 set by the ThunderWolves during the first "Pack the Park" in 2005, was the ThunderWolves' largest home crowd since 2007.
The Pack's wins clinch a berth in the RMAC Tournament and moves the ThunderWolves one step closer to an RMAC Plains Division title. The ThunderWolves, now at 21-17 and 15-10 in the RMAC, holding a half-game lead over Nebraska-Kearney in the standings. CSU-Pueblo will try to sew up that division title next weekend when it travels to Kearney for a three-game series with the Lopers, which will likely determine the division title.