Weather halts game with Mavs tied 1-1
Lightning in Kearney, Neb., caused the suspension of Mesa State’s RMAC baseball tournament game Thursday night against Nebraska-Kearney.
The teams were tied 1-1 in the bottom of the seventh inning when lightning near Memorial Field halted play. The teams are tentatively scheduled to resume play at 11 a.m. (MDT) today with a Kearney runner on first base and one out.
The winner plays top-seeded New Mexico Highlands after the completion of the suspended game, the loser faces CSU-Pueblo in an elimination game this afternoon, weather permitting.
“It’s raining poodles and collies,” Mesa State coach Chris Hanks quipped as the Mavericks headed back to their hotel after a one-hour delay. “Lightning stopped it and they cleared the field and got us inside. Then it started raining and the field is sitting there uncovered. It’s a mess. I’m not sure we’ll play (today). It’s coming down hard.”
Kearney scored one run in the bottom of the fourth and the Mavericks came back to tie it in the fifth. Ken Evanson led off with a base hit to left-center, moved to second on Austin Buck’s sacrifice bunt and took third on a passed ball.
Chase Moore grounded out to short, scoring Evanson. Brian Bello doubled and Ryan Shelton walked, but Greg Anderson struck out to end the inning.
Kyle Davis allowed 10 hits, walking three and striking out seven. Kearney starter Roy Metter scattered four hits, walked two and struck out three.
“It’s a good baseball game at this point,” Hanks said. “Their kid has pitched real well, we’ve hit into a lot of outs and the same thing on their end. Kyle has struck several guys out. We’ll both have to turn it over to the bullpens.”
Two pitches, two home runs.
That’s all it took for the Mavericks (21-18) to defeat Colorado School of Mines 2-0 in the opening game of the RMAC tournament in Denver.
Freshmen Megan Smith and Whitney Bailey hit back-to-back home runs to right-center — on successive pitches — with two out in the fourth inning for all the run support Sara Jordan needed.
“Those two goofy freshmen, they’re not sure what to be scared of yet,” Mesa State coach Kris Mort said. “That’s fine, as long as they hit. We didn’t hit great, but we hit well enough to make them pull their starting pitcher. Sara threw well and we played defense well.”
Jordan threw a four-hitter, striking out five and walking two to send the Mavericks into the second round against top-seeded Metro State at 9:30 this morning.
“She didn’t throw many pitches,” Mort said. “Four hits, five strikeouts, she threw well. She got on top of the count and was able to work on top. They were swinging at a lot of first pitches and we got a lot of outs on screwballs on first pitches.”
Both teams played error free, and the Mavericks finished with 10 hits.
“It was a pretty uneventful game,” Mort said. “Our pitcher threw better than their pitcher.”
Amber Armendarez heeded her coach’s advice, and before he knew it, the senior had clinched the Mavericks’ spot in the NCAA Division II Central Region final in St. Cloud, Minn.
Armendarez, a Central High School graduate who plays No. 5 singles, won the first set against Katelyn Dubbelde 6-0, then lost 2-6.
“I told her, ‘Amber, why don’t you go back to doing what was working the first set?’,’’ Mesa State coach Dan MacDonald said. “She said, ‘OK,’ and I went to watch Kelleen (Sera) and Victoria (Sargent) and looked back and it was 5-0. It was a 15-minute third set.”
Armendarez breezed to a 6-0 win in the third set and the Mavericks won the dual over Winona State 5-1, putting them into this morning’s championship match against St. Cloud State.
With the area expecting temperatures only in the 40s and a good chance for rain, the coaches agreed to play this morning’s match inside.
“All girls want to play inside,” MacDonald said. “I think we practiced at the bubble (Junction Indoor Tennis Center) more than we did outside this spring.”