Mistakes cost Mavericks in loss to New Mexico Highlands at RMAC tournament

Costly errors and missed opportunities Friday doomed the Colorado Mesa University baseball team.

New Mexico Highlands defeated the Mavericks 7-5 at Rawlings Field in Pueblo to eliminate the RMAC regular-season champions from the conference tournament.

“We pitched it well enough today; we swung it OK,” CMU coach Chris Hanks said. “We couldn’t overcome the errors.”

Colorado Mesa (39-14), ranked second in the final NCAA Central Region poll, is assured an NCAA tournament bid, but lost its chance to host the Central Regional next week.

“We’ll have to get reorganized and refocused,” Hanks said.

The NCAA Central Region pairings will be announced late Sunday night.

Highlands starter Jason Sirak picked up outs when he needed them for the victory. He allowed two earned runs on seven hits in 8 1/3 innings.

“Their kid pitched good,” Hanks said. “The wind was blowing in heavy today. On a normal day some of those probably fall.”

The wind was blowing at 19 mph on the mostly cloudy day.

“We got runners on early and couldn’t get them in,” Hanks said. “The guys were ready to play. We got runners on early, but we squandered opportunities.”

The Mavericks left six runners on base, including the tying run in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Mesa starter Garrett Carpenter was sharp, but left after three innings complaining about his reconstructed left elbow.

“Carpenter was effective, but he felt a twinge in his elbow and we took him out,” Hanks said. “They didn’t have a chance off him.”

Carpenter gave up one run on one hit and struck out six in three innings.

Dylan Evans (4-3) allowed six runs (three earned) on five hits in 4 1/3 innings of relief.

“Dylan pitched very well,” Hanks said. “We just didn’t take advantage.”

Highlands (39-13) tied the game 2-2 in the sixth on an unearned run, then added five in the eighth, two unearned, before the Mavericks rallied for three in the bottom of the ninth.


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