Mesa falls short in extra innings at World Series
GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas — Mistakes in the 10th inning doomed Colorado Mesa in a 3-2 loss to St. Thomas Aquinas College in the Division II College World Series on Tuesday night.
The Mavericks allowed two runs in the top of the 10th and Juan Adorno was a hero off the bench for the Spartans as he drove in the go-ahead run on a double in his first at-bat after entering the game as a defensive replacement.
“My mindset was just always be ready and see what the pitcher was doing,” Adorno said. “I was up in the box, just keeping my head clear and reacting to the pitch he was throwing.”
Adorno’s double scored Michael Morgan, who had advanced to third on a passed ball and a throwing error by CMU catcher Kyle Serrano.
Adorno then scored what proved to be the game-winning run on a single by Anthony Maisano, who had entered the game in the seventh inning as a pinch runner.
Brick Paskiewicz, Andrew Contreras, and Kevan Elcock all singled in the bottom of the 10th to scratch out a run, but Zach McLeod struck out looking to end the game with runners on first and second.
The Mavericks (49-11) will now play top-ranked Delta State today at 6 p.m. (MDT) in an elimination game. The winner will play West Chester in the semifinals of the double-elimination tournament Thursday at 6 p.m.
“The only chance you have to move on is to forget about it and move on,” CMU coach Chris Hanks said. “For lack of a better term you have to release it. You can’t wallow in it like maybe you can in the middle of the season.”
STAC (44-15) plays either Lindenwood or UC-San Diego in the first semifinal at 2 p.m. on Thursday.
CMU had broken a scoreless tie in the fifth inning.
Elcock singled and then advanced to third on an error by STAC third baseman Anthony Shkrejla. Elcock scored when J.J. Carr laced a single through the left side of the infield on a 1-2 pitch.
The Spartans responded in the top of the seventh when Maisano scored from second on a single by Nicholas Lucchese to tie the game at 1-1. STAC had an opportunity to take the lead but couldn’t capitalize on a bases-loaded situation with two outs.
CMU starter JR McDermott delivered a quality start in 6 2/3 innings of work. McDermott had eight strikeouts, allowed five hits, and limited the Spartans to one run. Tyler Day (6-3) took the loss as one of five relievers to appear for CMU.
STAC starter Chris Cepeda countered McDermott by limiting CMU to one run in 6 2/3 innings. Chris Pennell got the win in relief (3-2) and George Navadel picked up his ninth save of the season.
Both teams made key defensive plays early in a tightly contested game.
In the first inning the Spartans had a runner in scoring position with clean-up hitter Giovanni Dingcong at the plate, but Kyle Serrano caught Joseph Pena stealing at third base to end the inning.
The Mavericks loaded the bases without any outs in the bottom of the third inning but Cepeda pitched himself out of the jam. Carr popped out to first base and Serrano then grounded into a 4-3 double play to end the threat.
“A lot of it boiled down to poor plate discipline,” Hanks said. “Generally something we’re pretty good at … if a guy can find a way to hit a line drive and get a hit, we get a couple more on the board (and) things loosen up a little bit.”