Mavs walk away with a wild win
GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas — Who needs a hit?
Colorado Mesa certainly didn’t in a key seventh-inning rally as it opened the Division II College World Series with a 10-3 win against Quincy University on Sunday.
The Mavericks didn’t register a hit in five-run seventh inning as they turned a 3-2 deficit into a big lead and a blowout.
The Mavericks scored on a sacrifice bunt, a fielder’s choice, and three wild pitches in the seventh. Quincy also committed a pair of errors in the inning and Mesa stole three bases.
“Just applying pressure,” catcher Kyle Serrano said. “There is a lot of pressure on everybody. So sometimes when you make things happen people crack a little bit.”
This was more than simple small ball. It was a masterful micro performance on a macro level.
“The next thing you know that stuff starts happening,” centerfielder Matt Haggerty said. “We were trying to make him work as much as we could, put him in uncomfortable positions, and I think we did that.”
Colorado Mesa (49-10) will now play St. Thomas Aquinas (43-15) on Tuesday at 6 p.m. MDT.
CMU reliever Tyler Day (6-2) picked up the win in relief and limited Quincy to four hits and struck out seven in 3 2/3 innings of work. He entered the game in the sixth inning for Kyle Leahy, who had looked untouchable for three innings.
Leahy struck out the side in the first inning on 10 pitches and retired the first 10 batters he faced. But the second time through the order got a bit rocky for Leahy who allowed three hits AND three runs.
Mesa coach Chris Hanks said he decided to pull Leahy after the sophomore carried a heavy workload in the regional tournament.
“He was sharp the first three innings and then he started to tire,” Hanks said. “When we got into the sixth, Kyle doesn’t hit people and he doesn’t miss spots very often … it was just time to change and Day had rest.”
The Mavericks gave Leahy a 2-0 lead before he allowed his first hit.
In the top of the fourth, Serrano reached on an error and stole second, then scored on a two-out single by Andrew Contreras. Contreras made the score 2-0 when he scored on Zach McLeod’s single.
In the bottom of the sixth, Leahy walked one and hit another. Two batters later Quincy took a 3-2 lead Nolan Snyder doubled.
In the seventh, Haggerty drew a walk and then advance to second on a sacrifice bunt by PJ Gonzalez. Haggerty stole third and then scored on a sacrifice bunt by Serrano.
“Leading off the inning my first goal is to get on base and look to maybe do some small game, maybe get a bunt first,” Haggerty said. “I kind of got my rhythm going with the pitcher and after they walked JJ (Carr) I was able to steal the bag and we just kind of started working on what we’ve been doing all year.”
Haggerty added another run in the eighth when he traversed the bases on a walk, a two-base wild pitch, and scored on a bunt single by Gonzalez to give the Mavericks an 8-3 lead before Serrano and Bligh Madris hit back-to-back home runs to put an exclamation point on the victory.