Hanks not thrilled with Mavs' mindset in loss to Tritons
The weather forecast didn’t look good for a baseball game.
Although the conditions weren’t ideal Sunday afternoon, the rain (and snow) held off long enough to get in the fourth and final game of Colorado Mesa’s home opening series against the University of California-San Diego.
The visiting Tritons took advantage of the opportunity with an 11-7 victory at Canyon View Park to avoid a series sweep.
“We won the series and that was our goal coming in,” CMU coach Chris Hanks said. “If you ask me if you’re going to be 3-1 will you take it? Heck, ya, but we had a chance to sweep today. I was disappointed how we came out. I felt they were hungrier than we were.”
UC-San Diego (2-6) built an 11-0 lead through four innings and kept the No. 29 Mavericks (5-3) from having a big inning to rally.
The Tritons jumped on Mesa starter Garrett Carpenter in the third inning, scoring five runs on six hits. The first run scored on a hit that dropped in front of Mesa right fielder Mitch Corwin. Three batters later, another run scored when Mesa left fielder Erik Kozel couldn’t come up with a catch on a sinking fly ball.
Carpenter pitched out of the inning, but not before the Tritons led 6-0.
The junior left-hander (0-2) allowed six runs on nine hits in three innings.
“He’s catching too much of the plate,” Hanks said. “He’s been off two years. He’ll be fine. He needs a few more innings and probably needs the weather to warm up a bit, but we still believe in him.”
It was Carpenter’s second outing since the 2010 season when he tore a ligament in his left elbow that required Tommy John surgery.
“You got a layoff, but you also have a kid trying to do too much,” Hanks said. “He’s throwing more than pitching right now. The difference in speed in his pitches isn’t great enough. His command and control isn’t where it normally is and that comes with more innings and settling in.”
UC-San Diego scored five more runs in the fourth off Mesa relievers Kris Carlson and Luke Anderson.
With three runs already in with no out, Mesa’s defense fell apart — making three errors that contributed to two more runs.
Hanks made some changes and the guys off the bench responded.
Mesa plated three runs in the fifth, two more in the seventh and had the bases loaded when Cozine hit into a double play to end the inning.
Mesa added two more runs in the eighth on a two-run double from Jeff Popick. He was 1 for 3 with three RBI.
“The guys off the bench came in and fought hard,” Hanks said. “We closed the gap and had a couple windows we could’ve made some noise. We found out a lot about our club. The guys that started didn’t have the right mindset I don’t think.”
The Mavericks are off for two weeks, but that doesn’t mean the players get a break.
“We’re going to have a competitive scrimmage out here next weekend,” Hanks said. “We’ll get some guys some work. We’ll keep it competitive. We’ll probably split them into two teams and pit coaches against each other and give them rein to play guys, make switches. We’ll try to find a way to use it as a strength.”
Mesa returns to action with a four-game RMAC series March 2-4 at Metro State. The Mavericks’ next home series is March 16-18 against Colorado School of Mines at Canyon View Park.