Northern Colorado Baseball Eliminated From WAC Tournament Qualifier
Northern Colorado’s baseball season ended Saturday in St. George, Utah.
UNC (11-36, 7-24 WAC) fell to Dixie State (23-30, 21-15 WAC) in all four games of its last regular season series.
There was no particular reason for the Bears’ struggles, but rather multiple struggles that ended their season before the conference tournament.
First, UNC struggled to keep the leads it had. In Games 1, 3, and 4, the bears pushed the races through the plate first. Second, the solid defense and strikeouts weren’t there.
Northern Colorado quickly took the lead in Game 1, but allowed Dixie State to score four runs in two innings. Once again, the Bears scored in the seventh and eighth innings, but their rally failed. The Trailblazers added two more to their total, and their defense stopped the UNC at the plate.
Game two was all Dixie State, who won 11-2, due to a mix of poor UNC hits and throws. The northern Colorado survey box recorded six strikeouts and seven marches in the first half of Friday’s doubles game.
Meanwhile, the Trailblazers gave up two rides and took out 14 bears. Junior Sam Leach’s double RBI in seventh frame prevented a shutout.
Games 3 and 4 were very similar to the first in the series. UNC took a 3-1 lead in both competitions, but the Bears were unable to hold on.
Northern Colorado pitching staff pulled out six and walked three Trailblazers. A walk on Friday in the second game of the day made Dixie State easily accessible. Then the team turned their momentum to a grand slam to take a two-point lead over UNC.
Dixie State’s launch staff were efficient in not allowing a return effort. He totaled eight strikeouts and four walks.
In the final game of the series and ultimately the season, the imperfections of northern Colorado got the better of the team. He took a quick lead in the first inning after junior Josh Glenn scored three runs.
The Bears scored again at the top of third for an undeserved run over a Dixie State error. Things calmed down on the offensive end of the field as the Trailblazers capitalized. Dixie State scored seven points, including four in the seventh, to take the lead and add insurance.
Freshman Johnny Graham recorded a two-run explosion in the start of the eighth, but that was all UNC could muster. They came down without another score in the final frame.
Once again, the problems in the bullpen made it difficult to secure the victory. UNC put out six hitters and walked seven. When the Trailblazers were in the circle, they stopped 11 bears and walked only four.
Utah Valley beat Seattle this weekend to knock UNC off the field for the WAC Championship. It was the lowest record for UNC since the 2014 season, when the Bears finished 10-43, 4-23 in conference.
The Bears, as announced in 2020, will join the Summit League next season.