Mavericks split pair with Regis
One Colorado Mesa pitcher worked through some early command issues; the other didn’t.
Matt Williams overcame a rough start to pitch a complete game Saturday in the Mavericks’ 6-2 victory over Regis in the first game of a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference doubleheader at Suplizio Field.
Joey Danner, though, had the shortest outing of the season in an 8-4 loss in the nightcap.
The fourth-ranked Mavericks (36-7, 30-3 RMAC) and Williams overcame a 2-0 hole with the help of a defensive play to get the win in the first game.
In the fourth inning, Williams allowed a base hit and a walk, but he got out of trouble when second baseman Braden Box scooped up a ground ball and flipped it to shortstop Nate Robertson, who threw to first to complete a double play. Williams got the next batter to ground out without a run scoring.
“That was a beautiful play,” Williams said. “Box has been big all year.”
Box led off the bottom of the fourth with a single. With two outs and the bases loaded, he scored on a walk, and Tamatoa Demello followed with a two-run single for a 3-2 lead.
That was all Williams needed. The senior right-hander limited Regis (23-14, 18-13 RMAC) to one base runner on one hit the rest of the way.
Williams (6-1) allowed one earned run on five hits with seven strikeouts and three walks in seven innings.
Mesa’s offense wasn’t done against Regis ace Steven Brault (6-3), who allowed six runs on 10 hits in six innings.
Erik Kozel practically manufactured a run by himself in the fifth. The senior reached base on a single, stole second, advanced to third on an errant throw and scored on a groundout.
Kozel singled a third time in the sixth, driving in two runs.
Danner (7-2) didn’t get much help in the second game. The junior gave up four runs on six hits and was pulled with one out in the first.
“I wasn’t very happy with the sharpness in Game 2,” CMU coach Chris Hanks said. “It didn’t seem like we were locked in.
“(Catcher Colton) Schoelkopf thought (Danner) made some good pitches. There were a couple hard shots mixed in, but we couldn’t get a break.”
It wasn’t just Danner.
The Mavericks committed two errors, including one in the first inning.
“We had opportunities to turn double plays,” Hanks said. “I messed up a defensive coverage in that first inning. That was a communication mistake by me. We all have a part in it.
“We’ll have to forget this and come back tomorrow.”
Hanks went to hard-throwing Aaron Corwin, but he gave up three runs in the second inning, putting Mesa behind 7-0.
Schoelkopf came through with a two-run double in the bottom of the second and scored on Kozel’s single, but the Mavs still trailed 7-3.
Regis starter Kirby Schwein (9-1) kept Mesa in check the rest of the way for his RMAC-leading ninth victory of the season. The freshman allowed four runs on 14 hits in a complete game.
“(Schwein) is a command guy,” Hanks said. “He’s not overpowering. He got us to nub it around. He changed speeds, and we didn’t handle it well.”