Briefs: Local Mesa State Sports Roundup April 25, 2009
• Down to its final out and final strike Friday, the Mesa State College baseball team rallied for four runs in the top of the ninth inning to defeat New Mexico Highlands 10-7.
The Mavericks (36-7, 26-4 RMAC) trailed 7-6 entering the ninth. Marty Rover flied out to right and Andrew Martinez grounded out to the pitcher.
Justin Little had two strikes on him, but his sharp grounder to short was bobbled, allowing Little to beat the throw.
That was the opening the second-ranked Mavericks needed.
Kevin Becker singled through the right side, sending Little to third, and then stole second. Mike Provencher’s two-run single to right gave the Mavs an 8-7 lead.
Matt Bodenchuk, who homered to lead off the Mavs’ five-run second inning, doubled to left-center and Craig Lanzarotta walked to load the bases. Grant Vickers’ single up the middle scored Provencher and Bodenchuk for a 10-7 lead.
Aaron Guinn struck out the first man he faced in the bottom of the ninth and got two fly balls for his first save of the season.
Scott Bachman (4-0) picked up the win in relief of Brent Lamaster, who was pulled because of a tender arm after facing the first batter in the fifth.
Highlands is ranked third in the Central Region, two spots behind the Mavericks. The teams play a doubleheader today and wrap up the series Sunday.
“We’ve told the guys that we have to continue to play against the ball, continue to try to improve our team,” Mesa State coach Chris Hanks said. “The teams we’re playing are playing games that are low-risk (if they lose to the No. 2 Mavs), high-reward (if they beat Mesa). We can’t worry about the risk, we have to continue to play the game and play consistently.”
• Mesa State, the women’s RMAC regular-season champion, was upended 5-4 by Metro State in the semifinals of the RMAC championships in Denver.
After winning two of three doubles matches, the Mavericks lost the first three singles matches to the Roadrunners.
Kaitlan Sera won at No. 4 singles and Kelleen Sera won at No. 5 to tie the match at 4-4.
Mandie Divino won the first set at No. 6 singles 6-0, but Metro’s Kathleen Thompson rallied to win the next two sets 6-3, 6-1.
“The girls are pretty upset,” Mesa State coach Dan MacDonald said. “I told them this might be a silver lining, get us remotivated for regionals. Making the Sweet 16 is the ultimate goal.”
Nebraska-Kearney upset second-seeded Montana State-Billings in the semifinals, giving the Mavs hope of hosting the regional tournament. The bids are extended Tuesday.
“I think we’ve still got a chance to host,” MacDonald said. “We beat Metro earlier in the year, we beat Kearney and we beat Billings. We’ve got a good body of work.”
The Mavericks’ men’s team defeated Billings 7-2 in the first round to reach the semifinals against Metro State, winning all seven matches in straight sets. There, the Mavs lost to the top-seeded Roadrunners 5-0.
MacDonald thinks the men will still get a regional bid and will probably be back in Denver as the No. 4 seed.
Earlier Friday, five members of the women’s team and two men made the all-conference singles teams. Kate Lowder and Victoria Sargent made the women’s first team and Jordan Chomko made the men’s first team.
Kaitlan Sera made the second team and Renee Demianew and Kelleen Sera made the third team. Nick Provenza made the men’s second team.
In doubles, Lowder and Sargent and Chomko and Provenza made the first team, with the Sera twins on the women’s second team. MacDonald was selected the women’s coach of the year.