The UCCS baseball team triumphed over the Colorado Christian Cougars 3-1 and gained the needed momentum to carry them into the heart of the season.
Despite two windy days, baseball at Mountain Lion Park carried on with an RMAC matchup between the Mountain Lions and Colorado Christian Cougars.
In a high-scoring weekend of 88 combined runs, including five home runs on Sunday alone from redshirt sophomore Caleb Stubbings, the Mountain Lions came out on top in three of the four games moving up to sixth in the RMAC.
Going into the weekend’s series of double-headers, UCCS had a 16-game winning streak against the Cougars dating back to March 8, 2019. The Mountain Lions extended that streak to 17 with a 3-10 victory, but CCU battled back in the second game topping UCCS 10-7 to split Saturday’s doubleheader.
Sunday’s set of games proved to be more exciting and historic. In the day’s first matchup, CCU sparked a rally of runs in the early innings to gain a 10-2 lead by the bottom of the fifth inning. UCCS battled back with a home run from redshirt sophomore Hayden Iverson, his second of the game, and another two from redshirt sophomore Mason Pastorello and Stubbings to cut the lead to four.
However, the lead would not hold; CCU fought back with three more runs to make the score 13-6 heading into the bottom of the sixth. A solo home run from senior Luis Samorano gave a much-needed push to the Mountain Lions, which only increased when Stubbings brought in three more runs with his second homer. By the end of the inning, it was tied up with only three runs left before a victor was declared.
CCU arrived at the plate in the seventh inning looking to seal the victory with five more runs. However, UCCS wasn’t out of the fight yet, rallying with four runs of their own. Down to the wire, the Mountain Lions made a pitching change allowing freshman Joe McDermott to fight from the mound and put his team in a position to win. McDermott quelled the Cougars’ offensive roll with two innings of superb pitching.
In the bottom of the ninth, the score was 18-17 in favor of the Cougars. That all changed when Stubbings stepped up to the plate with the game on the line. He did not disappoint, launching his fourth hit of the game over the fence. Stubbings tied the program record for most in a game with that third home run.
History for the redshirt sophomore did not end there, however; he would also set the single-game record for RBIs with eight and increased his hitting streak to eight games. His monstrous performance carried into the second game of the day when the Mountain Lions blew past the Cougars 16-5, where he had another two home runs bringing his total to five for the day.
“It was a crazy day at the plate, and I attribute all my success to God. He gives me the strength and the abilities to play the game I love with the brothers I love,” Stubbings said. It was all smiles for him and his teammates following the doubleheader, but their next matchup was already on the sophomore’s mind. “All the celebrating was done on the field after the two wins and from here forward its preparing to compete against Regis this upcoming weekend.”
Regis is currently sitting below UCCS in fifth place, but Caleb is confident in his team of brothers. “I definitely think that we will carry some momentum into the next series. As long as we play team baseball, we should continue to see success in the near future,” he said.
UCCS heads to Denver this coming weekend for a four-game series with the Regis Rangers. Both teams are 5-7 in conference games.
Photo via gomountainlions.com/Isaiah J. Downing