The UCCS baseball team fell 1-3 to the San Francisco State University Gators from Feb. 11-13 for a four-game series. Despite the losing record, the team ended the series with a demanding win.
The Feb. 11 game was the first one in program history against SFSU, and UCCS came up short with a 3-5 loss.
There were nine total hits in the game with UCCS outhitting SFSU 5-4. The first came from senior outfielder Walker Rumsey hitting a homerun, helping UCCS take a 1-0 lead.
The UCCS defense held the Gators in the first two innings, but one hit pushed the Gators ahead with a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the third. They extended their lead after two runs in the next two innings, 5-1.
Redshirt freshman pitcher Cole Philip was the reliever who shut down SFSU after the one run in the fifth. He had six strikeouts in the next three innings while also allowing no hits.
The ninth inning was interesting after UCCS notched back-to-back singles and loaded up the bases with no outs in the inning. An RBI from redshirt freshman outfielder Kasey Campbell, helped leave runners on first and third. But SFSU ended the game with a forced groundball double play causing UCCS to lose.
UCCS came back on Feb. 12 with back-to-back games that both ended with losses. The first was a 2-13 blowout loss where UCCS struggled through all nine innings. SFSU also outhit UCCS 13-6. Each hit was from a different Mountain Lion.
The Gators scored three runs in the first inning, two of which were unearned due to an infield error. Redshirt freshman infielder Caleb Stubbings advanced to third in the second innings after a throwing error by the pitcher. Campbell brought him to home, cutting the Gators lead to 3-1.
But SFSU scored three-runs in the bottom of the second to extend their lead to 6-1. The Mountain Lions closed the five-run deficit after Rumsey completed an RBI double drive to redshirt freshman catcher Brandon Bagon bringing it to a 6-2 score.
That was all that UCCS would score for the remainder of the game as the Gators registered seven unanswered runs in the next three innings. The Mountain Lions didn’t hit another run for the remainder of the match.
Game two began with two scoreless innings. Graduate student pitcher Jonathan Cowles registered three strikeouts, forcing a groundball double play.
With three runs in the third, the Gators took a 3-0 lead. This included a two-run homerun. UCCS’ only score of the game came in the fourth after Stubbings hit one through the middle causing an RBI single within two runs, bringing the score 3-1.
Cowles held strong, but in the fifth inning, the Gators swung and added two more runs and their final for the game, winning 5-1.
Despite the loss, the Mountain Lions left with a game high of five runners on base, but the Gators outhit UCCS, 7-3. Cowles also had a career game high in strikeouts with nine total batters.
After three-straight losses in the series, UCCS won their first with a 6-1 win on Feb. 13. It was another game where UCCS outhit the Gators, 14-1.
SFSU took the lead early with their only run of the game in the first inning. Defense was the name of the game for the next three scoreless innings. This included redshirt junior infielder Henry Ryan throwing out a runner who was attempting to score in the second and picking off a runner in the third inning.
It wasn’t until the seventh inning that UCCS scored their first run, thanks to redshirt freshman outfielder Kit Wigington forcing a clutch RBI single. This tied the match, and the Mountain Lions did not hold back in the final two innings.
They scored another run in the eighth, thanks to the RBI single as they claimed the 2-1 lead. The momentum carried with a four-run play that was guided by five hits from several Mountain Lions, winning 6-1.
This was a sound finish for UCCS after losing the first three in the series. Individual Mountain Lions also had strong finishes. Stubbings registered a hit in all four games of the series. Senior pitcher Joseph Harris allowed no hits, no runs and two strikeouts in 2.2 innings. Five different Mountain Lions registered RBIs in the win.
UCCS now trails the all-time series against the Gators 1-3.