Mavs rusty in baseball opener
Colorado Mesa University played like it was its first baseball game of the season.
The Mavericks, ranked No. 20 in NCAA Division II, had three errors, and the pitchers walked six batters in a 6-2 loss to No. 23 UC-San Diego on a clear Friday night in La Jolla, Calif. The temperature was 72 degrees at game time, according to official statistics.
Although the game was the Tritons’ season opener, they played in a rhythm, CMU coach Chris Hanks said. UC-San Diego played three exhibition games prior to the season opener.
“They are ahead of us in terms of action,” Hanks said. “Their timing was a little better, and their arms were a little better, but that’s not an excuse. We needed more willful efforts. Certainly, they are ahead of us, but that’s not a reason they should win.
“My only disappointment was our formula to win is being more willful. Some of us played that way, but it wasn’t enough.”
UC-San Diego took advantage of an error in the first inning, scoring two runs. One on a double and the second on a fielder’s choice.
Mesa starting pitcher Aaron Corwin hit one batter and walked two batters to load the bases in the fourth. A sacrifice fly scored one run, and a second scored on a throwing error by Austin Kaiser.
In the eighth, the Tritons put pressure on Mesa’s defense, forcing a throwing error leading to another run.
“Our errors were untimely,” Hanks said. “We gave them too much.”
Mesa senior Justin Rosales produced a two-run double in the ninth for the Mavericks’ runs.
Corwin allowed four runs, two earned, on three hits and struck out four in 3 2/3 innings. It was the senior’s first outing for the Mavericks after transferring from Texas Tech University.
“Aaron was OK,” Hanks said. “We had to pull him early. We had a 75-pitch cap. We are hoping the starters get to the fifth. He was throwing too many pitches.”
Dustin Robirtis, Tamatoa Demello and Luke Anderson limited the Tritons to one earned run on four hits in 4 1/3 innings of relief.
“Tamatoa Demello looked really good, Robirtis looked good, and Anderson did well,” Hanks said.
“We walked six batters, and they didn’t walk any. When you do (walk batters), some of those score.”
UC-San Diego starter Ryan Goodbrand allowed three hits and struck out six in five innings. The senior picked up where he left off last season. He was 11-0 with two complete games.
“He’s good,” Hanks said of Goodbrand. “He has a good arm. He’s a power guy with some command. He’ll win them a lot of games.”