Late-inning heroics seal big win for CMU
Colorado Mesa’s baseball team came through with several clutch two-out hits when it needed them the most.
The seventh-ranked Mavericks (27-6, 21-2 RMAC) rallied in the ninth inning Friday, then defeated Metro State 3-2 in 10 innings at Auraria Field in Denver.
“We want to be in some games like this,” CMU coach Chris Hanks said. “You want to be in pressure situations and see what the kids are made of. It’s nice to have those. I’d say we played our ‘B’ game today. We got a great effort from Metro. They swung their bats well. Our guys played consistent.”
It was Mesa’s first extra-inning game of the season.
Mesa pinch hitter Tamatoa Demello singled with one out in the 10th inning, then advanced to second on Colton Schoelkopf’s single. With two on and two out, Erik Kozel singled up the middle and Demello raced home from second base to score the game winner.
Aaron Corwin struck out five Metro batters in two innings of relief for the victory.
Kozel led off the ninth with a single and advanced to second and third on groundouts. Sophomore Nate Robertson singled through the left side to score Kozel and send the game to extra innings.
“He’s a competitive kid,” Hanks said of Robertson. “He’s such a good competitor. He’s like (Garrett) Carpenter. They tend to elevate their games. That’s what competitive kids do.”
Kozel was 3 for 5 with one RBI and Robertson was 2 or 4 with two RBI.
The Mavericks took a 1-0 lead in their first at-bat when Carpenter pushed his hit streak to 20 games with a single and scored on Robertson’s two-out single.
Metro State (13-17, 9-12 RMAC) tied the game in the fourth on Alex Schrupp’s solo home run off Mesa starter Nolan Snell.
The Roadrunners took a 2-1 lead when Jeff Levett hit a two-out RBI double in the seventh.
Snell allowed two runs on seven hits with five strikeouts and three walks in 6 1/3 innings. Cody Lahman limited the Roadrunners to three hits in 1 2/3 innings of relief.
“Our pitchers kept us in the game,” Hanks said. “There were instances they could’ve made it 3-1 or 4-1.”
Metro State starter Patrick Gojan, who has pitched two complete games in eight starts, kept the Mavericks’ hitters off-balance most of the game.
The sophomore right-hander allowed two runs on six hits in nine innings.
“Their kid is good,” Hanks said. “He’s given everybody trouble all year.”