Mesa baseball team splits RMAC opener with Cougars
Colorado Mesa’s baseball team began Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play with a doubleheader split against Colorado Christian on Friday in Lakewood.
The 26th-ranked Mavericks (6-3, 1-1 RMAC) came back to win the second game 8-0 after Christian won the first game 6-5.
“We weren’t very offensive,” CMU coach Chris Hanks said. “It all starts on the mound, but we had plenty of chances. We went with a youth movement in the second game and they got us going in the second game.”
Mesa starting pitcher Joey Danner and reliever Daniel Arrellano scatted five hits in the win. Danner (2-1) limited the Cougars to four hits in five innings and struck out seven. Arrellano allowed one hit in two innings of relief. It was the Mavs’ fourth shutout win of the season.
The Mavericks took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on an error They scored five runs in the second inning. Davis Cantwell had a two-run single for his first career RBI, Sergio Valenzuela drove home a run on a sacrifice bunt, another run scored on an error and freshman Jake Druce drove in his first career RBI with a single.
Mesa added two runs in the third on an Austin Kaiser single and a Nate Robertson single.
The Cougars (2-7, 1-1 RMAC) rallied from an early 2-0 deficit to defeat Mesa in the opener. The victory ended an eight-game losing streak to the Mavericks.
Mesa left 13 runners on base in the first game.
“We hit our way out of big innings,” Hanks said. “We didn’t make good decisions on pitch selection. We have some upperclassmen that need to figure things out.
“We need to be more offensive than have last five games. It will come around.”
Mesa scored two runs in the top of the first, but the Cougars scored three in the bottom half, including two on a home run off Mesa starter Nevin Wilson.
Christian added a run in the second and a solo home run in the third for a 5-2 lead. The Cougars added the game-winning run in the seventh.
Wilson (1-1) allowed five runs on four hits in 2 1/3 innings. Matt Allen limited Christian to one run on five hits in 5 2/3 innings of relief.
“Nevin was relying from pitcher of the week syndrome,” Hanks said. “Nevin wasn’t very good. They were charged up and excited to play us. Their first home game.”
Valenzuela was 3 for 4 with one run scored in the leadoff spot. Kevin Mitchell snapped out of a slow start with two hits.
Karissa Nickeson hit a two-run home run in the top of the eighth inning to spark the Mavericks to a sweep of a doubleheader at CU-Colorado Springs.
Nickeson’s shot scored Sarah Phillis and broke a 4-4 tie in the Mavericks’ 6-4 victory in the first game. Makayla Kovac’s solo home run in the fifth tied the game.
Jessica Severinsen picked up the victory, allowing four runs on six hits. She struck out nine and walked only two.
Kovac’s second home run of the day sparked the Mavericks to an 11-6 victory in the second game, when she hit a grand slam in the Mavs’ six-run second inning.
Madelyn Schulz hit a solo home run in the fourth and the Mavericks added three more runs in the seventh inning on RBI singles by Tawnee Woosley, Schulz and Kovac. Freshman Jo Bolyard threw six innings, allowing five runs on nine hits, with three strikeouts and three walks, for her second collegiate victory.
Kovac went 4 for 8 with six RBI in the doubleheader and Phillis was 4 for 8. Catcher Megan Brown hit leadoff both games, coming through with three hits in each game, including two doubles.
Mesa (4-8, 3-3 RMAC) had 25 hits on the day, 11 for extra base hits, including four home runs.
Track & Field
Bacall Sterling placed third in the women’s pentathlon on the first day of the RMAC championships in Alamosa. Sterling scored 3,487 points, a school record, with Salcia Slackof New Mexico Highlands wining with 3,825 points.
Cameron Morley is fourth after the first day of the men’s heptathlon, scoring 2,704 points.
Whitney Rowe placed third in the women’s long jump (18 feet, 9.75 inches) and reached the finals of the 60-meter dash, qualiyfing second in 7.56 seconds. She was 12th in the preliminaries of the 200 meters but was awarded a spot in the finals when another runner moved into her lane and impeded her progress. Cathryn Ambler also had the second-fastest qualifying time in the women’s 400 meters (58.15).
In the men’s meet, Shane Niksic qualified third in the men’s 800 (1 minute, 55.45 seconds), Ryan Reasoner placed sixth in the pole vault (13-3.75) and the men’s and women’s distance medley relay teams each finished seventh.
The Maverick men’s team is sixth, the women seventh, in the team standings.