Rangers Split Sunday Doubleheader, Weekend Series with Cougars
Pueblo, Colo.: (By Dylan Docker) Regis and Sioux Falls concluded their four-game series Sunday at Hobbs Field in Pueblo. Regis (2-2) claimed a 9-2 victory in the morning game, but the University of Sioux Falls (2-2) salvaged a series split with a 4-3 win in the nightcap.
A pair of senior right-handers took the mound in game one. Mike McElreath got the start for Regis against Brady Nolz of Sioux Falls.
The Rangers jumped on Nolz in the first inning, scoring two quick runs on a bases-loaded walk from sophomore Jon Shoutta and a fielder's choice. McElreath kept the Cougars off the board until the third inning when an RBI double from junior Anthony Williams and a sacrifice fly from senior Jimmy Maxwell tied the game at two.
Regis retook a 3-2 lead with an unearned run in the bottom half of the inning. Sophomore Tony Piazza crossed the plate on an error by Sioux Falls shortstop Zach Ireland, giving the home team the last run they would need.
The Rangers padded their lead with two runs in the sixth inning. Junior center fielder Bob Terry brought in a pair of runs in the eighth, then scored on an RBI double by sophomore first baseman Steven Brault. Junior Ryan Eustice also had an RBI single in the four-run eighth inning by the Rangers.
Terry went 3-5 with two RBI's out of the lead-off spot in the 9-2 win. Brault reached base in all four of his plate appearances out of the three-hole, collecting three hits with an RBI and a walk.
McElreath (1-0) earned the win with his stellar performance. He allowed only two earned runs and struck out two in seven innings of work. Nolz (0-1) took the loss for the Cougars.
Regis sent junior righty Kyle Mack to the bump to square off with right-handed freshman Eric Brothers in the seven-inning nightcap.
After allowing a two-run homer to Maxwell in the first inning Mack seemed to find his groove. He kept Sioux Falls off the board for the remainder of his four-inning outing. Mack struck out two Cougars in that span.
Junior right-hander Aaron Harms came on to pitch for the Rangers in the fifth inning but struggled to find his rhythm. The Cougars added a pair of runs, one earned, in Harms' 1 1/3 innings of relief work. Trailing 4-0, Regis finally answered with a bases-loaded walk by Brault in the home half of the fifth.
Junior Cody Hastings brought the Rangers closer with a two-out, two-RBI double off of Brothers in the sixth inning. The Cougar starter got the hook after allowing three earned runs and striking out five in 5 2/3 innings.
Relievers Andrew Christensen and Derek Fischer combined to pick up the final four outs for Sioux Falls. The Rangers loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, but Williams ran down a long fly ball deep in the left field corner to end the Rangers rally and preserve the 4-3 victory for Sioux Falls.
Brothers (1-0) picked up the win for the visitors, while Mack (0-1) took the loss for Regis. Fischer was credited with the save (1).
Terry and Brault again produced for the Rangers. Terry picked up another hit and two walks in four plate appearances, while Brault collected two more hits, a walk, and an RBI in four trips.
The Rangers open up a four-game weekend non-conference road series against Metro State on Friday, February 24. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.