Williams' complete-game shutout keeps Mavs alive in RMAC tourney
Matt Williams was furious and ready to do something about it, but he had to wait for his turn.
The Colorado Mesa University senior gave the Mavericks what they needed, pitching a complete-game shutout in Mesa’s 8-0 victory over Metro State on Friday afternoon at Suplizio Field.
The second-ranked Mavericks (42-8) remain alive in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference tournament after losing to Colorado School of Mines on Thursday night.
“Matty was really frustrated in the clubhouse (Thursday) night,” CMU coach Chris Hanks said. “I had to grab him. He came in mad. I said, ‘Hey, bud, we need you now.’ He was hurting bad. He wants to win bad. There was no one better to have the ball today. Boy, he was good. Nine innings of shutout baseball.”
It was Williams’ sixth complete game and 12th quality start (six innings with three or fewer earned runs) in 14 starts.
The Roadrunners (20-27) didn’t have a chance.
“Matt pitched a hell of a game,” Mesa outfielder Garrett Carpenter said. “He’s the greatest competitor I’ve ever played with. The guy loves to win. I like going to battle with that guy.”
Williams (8-1), the RMAC pitcher of the year, allowed seven base runners the entire game. Only two reached third base. He limited Metro State to six hits and one walk, and he struck out six.
“My defense was huge,” Williams said. “It was an awesome feeling having the team click like that. It’s huge motivation especially in a tournament like this.”
Justin Rosales made a bare-handed grab and threw out a base runner in the sixth. Austin Kaiser made a leaping catch against the left-field wall with one runner on base in the seventh.
“That was probably one of the best outfielder catches I’ve seen playing with someone on my team like that,” Williams said. “I was upset I threw that pitch, but Kaiser picked me up right there.”
The Mavericks gave Williams plenty of offense, too.
Braden Box manufactured the first run by himself, doubling to left-center field, stealing third and scoring on a passed ball, all with two outs in the second inning.
Mesa rapped six consecutive hits to score four runs in the third for a 5-0 lead. Carpenter, in the lineup for the first time in three weeks, extended his hitting streak to 22 games with an RBI single.
“I was kind of excited my first (at-bat) and was chasing pitches out of the zone,” Carpenter said. “I shortened up the zone and tried to make it as easy as possible.”
The junior, who missed 15 games with an injured hand, was 3 for 5 with a double, home run and two RBI. It was his first collegiate home run.
“I wanted to play him (Thursday) night,” Hanks said. “He didn’t look real sharp, but I was going to play him today no matter what. We need him in there. He’s one of our best hitters.”
Carpenter doubled and scored in the fifth. He hit a solo home run in the ninth.
The Mavericks caught a break in the bracket and will only have to play one game today, at 3:30 p.m. against New Mexico Highlands, instead of two, because Mines lost its first game of the double-elimination tournament to a team with one loss.
N.M. Highlands 10, Colorado Mines 3: The Cowboys (29-23) scored in four consecutive innings en route to the victory.
Josh McMahon was 2 for 4 with three RBI, including a two-run double in Highlands’ five-run third. Two batters later, Cole Davis followed with a two-run double.
Highlands starting pitcher Chris Prokupek (7-3) limited the Orediggers (22-26) to three runs on seven hits and struck out six in a complete game.
CSU-Pueblo 6, Regis 5: The ThunderWolves scored four runs in the eighth inning to rally for the victory.
CSU-Pueblo (30-19) drew three consecutive walks with two outs then Michael Wagner singled home the go-ahead run.
Mike Fabrizio overcame a slow start, giving up four runs in the first two innings, for the complete-game win.