Mavs, Rangers hit hard, often at Suplizio Field
For the fourth consecutive game and sixth time this season, the Mesa State College baseball team scored in double figures.
For the fourth time this season, the Mavericks needed all the runs they could get.
The fifth-ranked Mavericks improved to 8-2 on Sunday, defeating Regis 17-16 in a nonconference game at Suplizio Field to complete their first series sweep this season. Mesa plays Dixie State (Utah) College (5-4) in a doubleheader at 1 p.m. today at Suplizio Field.
Mesa State and Regis combined for 39 hits and five errors in Sunday’s game. The teams scored 80 runs and had 97 hits in the three games.
“They are a good offensive team,” Mesa State coach Chris Hanks said. “We didn’t pitch it as well as we liked. I think our staff is going to be fine. You wouldn’t think that looking today, but they are a good hitting team, number one, and number two, I’m not sure they’re playing with a lot of pressure.
“We obviously have to get better at things and the pitchers will have to step it up because we can’t expect to score 17 runs, 10 runs or 25 runs. We’ve got good kids, good arms. We’ll get them coached up.”
Regis (7-5) came into the series hitting .375 and hit .384 in the three-game series.
The Rangers took advantage of a wild Kevin Chritz, drawing three walks and scoring three runs in the first inning.
Mesa, which hit .450 in the series, bounced back with a nine-run third inning.
Corey Todhunter, who was 3 for 5 with four RBI, hit his second home run of the day to give the Mavs a 6-5 lead.
“I got good pitches to hit and some good swings on them,” Todhunter said. “The two bombs I hit were two fastballs. The pitcher made a mistake over the plate.”
A few batters later, Mike Provencher hit a three-run home run for a 10-5 lead. The senior from El Paso, Texas, was 3 for 4 with four RBI.
Mesa added five runs in the fourth for a 15-8 lead, but Regis continued to hit, chasing four pitchers and rallied to tie the game 16-16 in the seventh.
“We need to be tougher on the mound,” Hanks said. “That mainly means pitching ahead and with a little more command. That was the biggest thing that happened all weekend (getting behind in the count). Hitters will get themselves out.
“The hard thing is when you walk somebody, then give up a hit. It’s the walk that scores. When you pitch behind in the count, hitters can guess and sit on certain pitches.”
The score remained tied until the bottom of the eighth when Kevin Becker doubled to score Justin Little.
“You want to come up in those at-bats,” Becker said. “I figured they didn’t know what they wanted to do with me with two All-Americans coming up behind me. I was looking fastball and got it middle in. I don’t know if it was a mistake pitch or what, but he left it over the middle of the plate.”
Aaron Guinn (1-0) was able to get out of a jam in the ninth for the victory. He allowed three hits in two innings.
The senior from Vancouver, Wash., gave up two singles before getting a line drive double play to end the game.