Bachman overdrive: Pitcher’s complete game, solid defense lift Mavs to win

Photo by William Woody—Brian Bello is congratulated after hitting a two-run home run Friday in the second inning of Mesa State’s 13-6 victory over Colorado Christian. Bello finished 2 for 4 with 4 RBI in the win. Below, Austin Buck asks for time after stealing second base in the second inning.



Scott Bachman was in the middle of all the action much more than he expected.

“I think I got the most put outs I’ve ever had today,” the Mesa State College senior pitcher said. “It was a lot of action. At least the ball didn’t come at me too hard so I could make plays.”

Bachman made five put outs on his six chances, pitched a complete game and got plenty of early run support Friday night as the Mavericks defeated Colorado Christian University 13-6 at Suplizio Field. It was Mesa’s second weekend series opening victory of the season and first in RMAC play.

“It’s nice to win a Friday night game,” Mesa senior captain Marty Rover said. “We haven’t been able to get off a good start in a series. We’ve played well, but we haven’t been able to pull out the game. Today, we put it all together, offensively and defensively.”

Mesa State (7-8, 3-4 RMAC) will attempt to win its first series of the season with a doubleheader against the Cougars (6-14, 2-7) at 1 p.m. today at Suplizio Field.

The Mavericks started the series off on right foot.

As Bachman (2-1) threw first-pitch strikes throughout the night, the offense built an early 11-1 lead by the end of the third inning.

Senior transfer Brian Bello blasted a two-run home run to kick start the offense in the second inning. Three batters later, Colorado Christian’s center fielder misread a fly ball off Kevin Becker’s bat, allowing one run to score. Then, Rover doubled home Becker for a 4-1 lead.

Bello doubled off the center field wall to bring home two runs in the third. Becker singled home one run and Rover had a two-run single, then scored on a Jeff Popick single for a 10-run cushion.

“I think offensively, we’re starting to come together,” said Rover, who was 4 for 4 with four RBI. “Guys aren’t feeling as much pressure and trying to do it all themselves. It can be contributed to one to nine being more productive.”

Colorado Christian got three runs back in the fourth with the help of a Mesa error, but Bachman didn’t let it faze him as the Kansas State transfer outdid Colorado Christian’s starter and Kansas State transfer, Jake Logan (2-4), for the victory. Bachman limited the Cougars to three earned runs on 12 hits and struck out six.

“Scott did a great job,” said Rover, who caught Bachman. “He made some tough pitches. I thought he was a real bulldog. He battled through some tough innings. It was the performance we needed. It also took some pressure off our offense. That helped both ways.”

Bachman had some good help from his defense, including right fielder Greg Anderson, who made five put outs anywhere from along the foul line to the gap.

“Greg was big for us,” Rover said. “They seemed to trying to go that way against Bachman and I think Greg’s defense went a long way to us winning that ballgame.”

Track & Field

Alexis Skarda turned in the top time in the prelims of the mile run at the NCAA Division II national indoor championships.

Skarda, a sophomore, was Mesa State’s only national qualifier, and ran a school-record time of 4 minutes, 58.07 seconds to win the second heat of the preliminaries. Only one other runner, Jane Larson of Seattle Pacific, clocked a time below five minutes, 4:58.33. The finals of the mile are 3:30 this afternoon in Albuquerque, N.M.

Cassie Mitchell of Adams State was the No. 3 qualifier for the finals in 5:01.74, with Alicia Nelson, a freshman for the Grizzles out of Moffat County, right behind her in 5:01.87.

Wrestling

Mesa State’s Tyler Juby was eliminated in the Division II championships in Omaha, Neb.

The 149-pound freshman (14-9) lost a 17-12 decision to Augustana’s Nate Herda in the first round then Findlay’s Jeremy Espinoza defeated Juby 14-9 in the consolation bracket.

Western State’s Charlie Pipher quest for a national title came to an end with an 8-6 loss to Patrick Walsh of Pittsburgh-Johnstown (Pa.) in the quarterfinals.

Pipher (23-4) could place as high as third. He pinned Tanner Keck of Central Oklahoma in the first round.

Tennis

Mesa State’s match against Palm Beach Atlantic (Fla.) University was rained out.

and the Mavericks weren’t able to make up the two matches that were rained out Thursday.


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