Mavs thump T-Wolves, start new winning streak
With another win streak behind it, the Colorado Mesa baseball team was ready to wipe the slate clean and start a new one.
The sixth-ranked Mavericks did that in a big way Sunday, rolling to a 15-1 victory over rival CSU-Pueblo at Suplizio Field, giving Mesa a 3-1 series win.
The Mavericks have won eight consecutive series. Only the University of California-San Diego has won a series against Colorado Mesa, and that was the opening weekend of the season.
“That’s how you attack a Sunday Game 4 when you’re trying to win the series,” said CMU coach Chris Hanks, whose team had a 10-game winning streak snapped with a 12-5 loss to CSU-Pueblo on Saturday. “We had rough day (Saturday). We had to fight through some stuff.
“We got a great pitching performance from all three guys who pitched today. That’s where it started.”
Mesa starter Kyle Davis limited the ThunderWolves to one run on four hits and struck out seven in six innings for the victory.
“The thing we had going for us with Kyle on the mound is he’s been down this road several times,” Hanks said. “He’s pitched against Pueblo on Sunday. He knows what these Game 4s can turn into. What his goal coming into the weekend was changing speeds effectively in the strike zone. That’s what he didn’t do last weekend. There was good separation in his velocities between his fastball, slider and his curveball. I think that kept them off balance.”
Davis’ fourth start of the season was his longest coming off shoulder surgery two years ago this month. He threw 112 pitches.
“It was a little weird, I threw 112 pitches and I didn’t feel like I was anywhere close to that,” Davis said. “That was the most pitches I’ve thrown in a long time.
“The first three innings didn’t feel as good as four, five and six, but everything felt really good today.”
Davis (4-0) worked through the first three innings with little trouble, giving up two hits and one walk.
“(Catcher) Colton Schoelkopf really knew what these guys would do behind the plate,” Davis said. “He called a great game. We tried to pound them inside with fastballs and go away with off-speed stuff.”
In the fourth, the ThunderWolves (16-15, 12-10 RMAC) took advantage of a leadoff walk to score their first run on a sacrifice fly, but that was it.
Davis didn’t allow another run through the fifth and sixth innings.
“I felt like I needed to get ahead of hitters and just keep us in the game,” Davis said. “We got a great hitting team. Anytime you can keep the other team to minimal runs, you have a great chance of winning with these guys.”
Colorado Mesa (26-6, 20-1 RMAC) proved Davis right.
The Mavericks went to work immediately, scoring three runs in the first.
Garrett Carpenter extended his hitting streak to 19 games with a single and scored on a hit-and-run double by Mitch Corwin. Two batters later, Jordan Moore-Leister drove Corwin home, then scored on Jake Kluge’s single.
The Mavericks added two runs in the third on a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly. One scored on the fourth on a Nate Robertson single, and four more came home in the fifth. Robertson had a two-run double that inning for a 10-1 lead.
Mesa added one run in the sixth and four more on Corwin’s grand slam in the eighth inning.
Cody Lahman and Aaron Corwin limited CSU-Pueblo to one hit and struck out three in the last three innings.
“I thought our approach early in the game was outstanding,” Hanks said. “You look back at the hits and they were all firm, line-drive approach, nothing soft or lifted in the air. That was the goal, to firm up those hits and put short strokes on the ball.
“Guys came to batting practice with a hop in their step, that’s what we asked and they delivered. I’m proud of them.”