High-octane offense leads No. 4 Mavericks past Metro State

Mesa State College’s Justin Little slides into second a little too late as Metro State shortstop Matt McConnell fields the ball for the out in the bottom of the second inning of Friday’s game at Suplizio Field.

So far they’ve been able to turn on the offense like a flick of the switch.

The Mesa State College Mavericks did it again Friday, defeating Metro State 18-8 in each team’s RMAC baseball opener at Suplizio Field. The teams meet for a doubleheader at noon today.

The fourth-ranked Mavericks (10-2, 1-0 RMAC) had 25 hits, including nine for extra bases, and scored in every inning.

Mesa senior Mike Provencher was 3 for 5 with two home runs and four RBI. Bobby Leigh was 3 for 6 with one home run and four RBI and Matt Bodenchuk was 4 for 6 with two solo home runs.

“We battled with two strikes,” Mesa State coach Chris Hanks said. “We squared up a bunch of balls, got some bunts down and stole some bases. I think we still need to pitch it better.

We need to pitch ahead in the count a little more often, but we’ll get that solved.

“T.J. (Butch) did a nice job, especially with his fastball. He had good command of that pitch.”

Butch came in relief of Chris Carma and shut down Metro State, allowing one run on one hit and struck out three in 21/3 innings of work. Carma (2-1) survived through 52/3 innings of physical and mental errors for the victory. The senior right-hander allowed five earned runs
on 11 hits, four walks and struck out five.

The Roadrunners (9-5, 0-1 RMAC) took advantage of an error in the third inning to score three runs, including two unearned, to tie the game.

Bodenchuk hit a solo home run and Leigh hit a two-run shot to help put the Mavs up 8-3.

Metro made a run again in the fifth with the help of a mental error.

With two out, Dakota Nahm reached on an unplayed pop fly. Three batters later designated hitter Marcel Dominguez came through with a three-run triple to left and scored on a single before the Mavs escaped the inning.

“We made a communication error with the pop up that would’ve been the third out,” Hanks said. “We’ve got that solved I think. That happens in baseball. It can happen to anybody at any time. You hate to have it happen then have four runs score with two outs, but our guys responded like they always do. I’m proud of them for that.”

Mesa State responded with two runs in the bottom half of the inning to push the lead back to 10-7.

Justin Little singled with two outs and scored on Kevin Becker’s double to left. Provencher followed with a RBI-double to the left-field corner.

The Mavs added a run in the sixth then scored six in the seventh and one more in the eighth.


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