Stranded Mavs: Mesa State leaves 16 runners on base in opening loss
The Mesa State College baseball team’s home opener was shaping up nicely.
Senior pitcher Scott Bachman was pitching well, Metro State’s starter was walking Mesa batters and the Roadrunners defense made two errors.
The Mavericks, though, failed to take advantage of the situation.
Instead, Metro State rallied to score five runs in the ninth inning Friday to defeat Mesa State 9-7 in each team’s RMAC opener at Suplizio Field. The teams meet for a doubleheader at noon today.
“We could’ve put that game away early or at least put it out of reach,” Mesa State coach Chris Hanks said. “I tip my cap to them. Their kids battled with two strikes on them in the last frame. They showed toughness there.”
Mesa State (2-5, 0-1 RMAC) had plenty of chances to blow the game open, drawing nine walks but Mesa stranded 16 runners.
The Mavericks took a 2-0 lead in the second inning, but left the bases loaded when Jeff Popick struck out.
Metro State (4-3, 1-0 RMAC) countered with two runs in the top of the third on a two-run home run by Chris Redding.
Mesa came back with two runs in the third, but left the bases loaded again when Kevin Becker flew out to center field.
When the Mavericks added two more runs in the fourth for a 6-2 lead, it looked like that would be enough for Bachman.
The left-hander limited the Roadrunners to two runs on three hits and struck out six through six innings. He allowed seven runs on eight hits, three walks and struck out 10.
After giving up two runs in the seventh, Bachman shut down Metro in order in the eighth.
He started the ninth with a fly out, but gave up a double, a walk and a single to load the bases.
Hanks went to another senior, Jack Amidei, who was a medical redshirt last season. The right-hander traded a run for a ground-ball out, but hung a slider to Redding for a two-run double to left field to tie the game.
Hanks brought in Fruita Monument graduate Taylor Hamilton, but Hamilton gave up back-to-back singles for two more Metro runs before striking out the side.
“We were trying to get (Bachman) a complete game because he was in command,” Hanks said. “We gave him one more hitter, then they got the nubber in right, so we changed it. I liked the matchup with Hamilton, but he left one up. Jack hung a 1-2 slider to the Redding kid. We need to make a couple better pitches.
“Scott should’ve got himself a win today. We need hitters to drive runners in and we need the bullpen guys to shut things down. We just didn’t close out the game.”
Greg Anderson was 4 for 4 with two RBI and one run scored. Brian Bello was 2 for 5 with two RBI and one run scored.
Indoor Track & Field
Mesa State’s distance medley team placed fifth in 12 minutes, 59.54 seconds to lead the Mavericks in the RMAC Indoor Championships at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden.
Mesa State is in eighth place with 5.5 points after the first day. Adams State leads with 73 points. Nebraska-Kearney is second with 47.
Lindsay Hart finished seventh in the pentathlon with 2,873 points.
The rest of the finals are scheduled today.