Published: Friday, April 27, 2012
Updated: Friday, April 27, 2012 01:04
Senior right fielder squares up to bunt in Wednesday's match-up against Air Force
The UNC baseball team managed a 7-6 victory over the Air Force Academy Wednesday in a dramatic back and forth game at Jackson Field.
For the University of Northern Colorado (17-22), each inning brought about a new battle in the war between the teams, as the lead changed seven times.
“When they take the lead, we just try to win the inning each inning, and try to get a guy over and get him in,” said sophomore first baseman Colby Harrison.
Harrison hit a career-high two triples in a game, going 2-for-4 with two RBIs against Air Force (17-22). He is the third Bear to hit two triples this season and became only the 14th in UNC history. Freshman second baseman Ryan Yamane and senior center fielder Adrian Schenk were the other two to have the accomplishment this year.
“Colby Harrison — how about that kid,” head coach Carol Iwasaki said. “Stepping into two baseballs and swinging like he knows how to swing. He’s feeling it.”
The score was tied at three at the end of the second. In the bottom of the third, Harrison grounded out to second, scoring senior shortstop Adrian Hilker for the first Bears’ lead. Sophomore catcher Harrison Lambert was next to the plate and singled in senior third baseman Tony Crudo for the 5-3 lead.
The next inning, Air Force responded with two runs of its own.
With the score tied at six heading into the bottom of the seventh, Crudo singled to left, plating Yamane for the lead.
The most dramatic moment came in the top of the ninth inning with the Bears still holding their 7-6 advantage. UNC senior southpaw Nate Steinmetz had the tying run in scoring position with no outs.
“We have to play flawless defense,” Iwasaki said of the situation.
The Bears got their first out of the inning as Lambert picked off Air Force sophomore designated hitter Seth Kline at second, leaving junior center fielder Alex Bast on first. A bunt attempt by freshman pinch hitter Casey Gibson turned into a double play, ending the game.
“There was a lot of big plays throughout the whole game, lots of big hits and stuff, but I think Harrison’s back pick was a pretty big play that gave us some momentum,” Harrison said.
The Bears re-enter conference play on the road against North Dakota, starting at 2 p.m. today in Grand Forks, N.D.