Determined Mavs sweep Mines
The performance was nearly flawless.
The fourth-ranked Colorado Mesa University baseball team, playing with a chip on its shoulder, swept the Colorado School of Mines 16-3 and 7-0 in a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference doubleheader Friday at Suplizio Field.
The Mavericks (39-7, 33-3 RMAC) were eager to prove themselves after dropping to No. 2 in the NCAA Division II South Central Region poll earlier this week. The top team in the region hosts the regional tournament May 16-19.
“We’re going to come out with something to prove (this weekend),” CMU pitcher Nolan Snell said.
Snell led the way, pitching six innings for the win in the first game.
The victory gave him 23 for his career as a Maverick, tying him with Bill Johnson for the school record. Snell already has the career strikeouts record and needs one inning to break the career innings-pitched record. Johnson has 246 2/3. Snell has 246.
“I just try to win as many games as I possibly can,” Snell said. “I’ve been blessed with having some great fielders and hitters that had my back my whole career. I get a lot of wins because we get a lot of runs on the board.”
Snell (7-1 this season) limited the Orediggers (21-23, 16-18 RMAC) to one unearned run on four hits, and he struck out six. He had two walks but didn’t hit one batter or throw one wild pitch.
“That’s as good of command as Nolan has had in some time,” CMU coach Chris Hanks said. “I was really happy about that. He kept control of himself.”
Matt Williams (7-1) matched Snell’s performance in the second game.
The senior limited the Orediggers to two hits and one walk and struck out eight in six innings.
“I could’ve gone an extra inning, two or three, whatever the team needed. I was ready to go,” Williams said. “My main goal as a pitcher is to make sure we get the win. If I get it next to my name, I tip my hat to my team.”
Mesa reliever Aaron Corwin struck out one in a scoreless seventh to finish the second game.
“Matt was very good,” Hanks said. “We’d like him to finish and get that complete-game shutout, but we want to have some people ready (for the RMAC tournament). Corwin needs to pitch. We need to be able to pitch him back-to-back days.
“We want fresh arms and strong arms going into the stretch run here. It takes a lot of people on the same page.”
Several players contributed to the wins.
The Mavericks had 19 hits in the first game, including eight for extra bases. Three were home runs.
Justin Rosales was 5 for 5 with a home run and four RBI. Kevin Mitchell was 3 for 3 with a home run, and Tamatoa Demello was 3 for 4, a home run shy of the cycle.
Erik Kozel got the Mavericks going immediately with a double to lead off the bottom of the first. He advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on Braden Box’s single. Box scored on a sacrifice fly, and Rosales singled a run home.
Jake Kluge hit a home run to lead off the fifth, and Demello drove home two with a double for a 7-1 lead. Kozel reached on an error and scored on a double steal to make it 8-1.
Rosales hit a two-run home run, and Mitchell followed with a solo shot in the sixth.
Mesa scored three more in the seventh and two in the eighth.
In the second game, Colton Little hit a solo home run, and Mitchell hit a two-run shot off the right field foul pole. Box was 2 for 3 with two RBI.