GRIZZLIES DOWNED BY MUSTANGS. By Erik Hildebrandt.
Adams State University’s baseball team traveled to Hobbs, New Mexico this past weekend to face off with University of Southwest Mustangs. The Grizzlies were swept in four 7-inning games. The Grizzlies remain winless in their first 11 contests. However, the Grizzlies have held the lead in 6 out of 11 games heading into the last two innings.
The Grizzlies got the series off to a hot start with a run in the first inning courtesy of Nico Nintze’s RBI double. The game mellowed out until the fifth inning when Jacob Harris gave the Mustangs the lead with a two-run single. After Grizzlies starting pitcher, Danny Brennan, exited the game, Kolton Bleggi came into relief. In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Mustangs were able to increase their lead to 5-1. The Grizzlies’ final at-bats came in the seventh inning. After a bases-loaded sacrifice fly, Nintze struck again with another RBI hit to push the deficit to two runs. After a strikeout, Orlando Romero roped a rocket line drive right at the Mustangs’ third baseman to end the game at 5-3.
The second game of the doubleheader on Friday was decided in a close finish with the Mustangs prevailing, 12-11. The Grizzlies capitalized in the first inning off of two Mustang errors. Paul Giglio drove in two Grizzlies followed by an Orlando Romero double to give the Grizzlies the three-run lead. During the third inning, the Grizzlies doubled their score after a sacrifice fly and a two-run homer from Romero. The Grizzlies tacked on another run in the fourth inning to put their lead to a demanding seven runs. The Mustangs scrapped for two runs off of two errors defensively for the Grizzlies in the fifth inning. After a two-out rally put runners on base for Nintze, he capitalized by driving in another run. Logan Bistrup added with a three-run shot of his own to seemingly put away the game for the Grizzlies. The Grizzlies’ nine-run victory soon would become a six-run lead after an offensive wake-up call by the Mustangs in the sixth inning. During the Mustangs’ last three outs, they managed to draw a few walks and manage clutch base hits with runners on to bring the score to 11-10. With two outs, the Mustangs hit a two-run single to walk-off as winners.
The first game of Saturday’s doubleheader began with a pitching duel. Both pitchers held the opposing offense off of the scoreboard for three innings. The Mustangs offense started up with five runs in the fourth inning. Billy Ryan got the Grizzlies on the scoreboard in the fifth with a single up the middle. Jared Gay and Paul Giglio each produced with runners on base in the sixth inning to bring the Grizzlies within one. The Mustangs struck back with five runs of their own to seal the game.
The final game of the series did not look pretty for the Grizzlies. The Grizzlies committed 10 errors in the game leading to a 9-2 victory for the Mustangs. Bleggi and Nintze each drove in a run for the Grizzlies. The weekend for the Grizzlies ended up coming as a disappointment for the Grizzlies and their shortstop, Dakota Solis.
“We have to learn to close out games. We have to keep scoring runs and playing good defense. We will bounce back,” said Solis. The Grizzlies will look for that bounce-back this weekend as they travel to Texas to square off with University of Texas Permian-Basin.