Mesa scores 18 runs on 24 hits in 2 games
The bats are starting to come around.
Colorado Mesa strung together 24 hits and scored a combined 18 runs to sweep Regis in an Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference baseball doubleheader on Sunday at Suplizio Field.
The 30th-ranked Mavericks defeated Regis 10-0 and 8-1 and will go for the series sweep at 2:30 p.m. today.
“It’s a little better,” CMU baseball coach Chris Hanks said. “We still need to do some things better. We have some guys loosening up a bit. We don’t need to swing our best yet. It’s a volatile thing. We want quality at-bat after quality at-bat. We want to work on not getting ourselves out.
“We’re trying to get them to focus on executing the game. If we take pride in that, it will lead to better hitting.”
The Mavericks (9-3, 4-1 RMAC) hit .436 in the doubleheader sweep. Austin Kaiser continues to swing the bat well, going six for seven. Garrett Carpenter had four hits in six at-bats with a home run and Kevin Mitchell was two for six with a home run.
“We didn’t have that early in the year,” Mitchell said. “The games we were winning were close. The pitchers had to hold them under two or three runs every time. It’s nice to get those insurance runs for the pitchers so they’re not pitching in one-run, two-run games all the time.”
Mesa starting pitcher Nevin Wilson didn’t give Regis much of a chance in the first game. The junior left-hander limited the Rangers (4-8, 1-5 RMAC) to two hits and struck out 11 batters in front of a handful of scouts.
Wilson (2-1) was focused on a strong performance after allowing five runs on four hits in 2 1/3 innings in a loss to Colorado Christian last week.
“Last week left a really bad taste in my mouth,” Wilson said. “I felt bad for letting the guys down. They trusted me to go out and pitch Game 1 and I didn’t live up to what I was supposed to do. This was a big week getting back in sync. I was really happy with the outcome.”
Mesa pushed a run across in the first and second innings before breaking it open with five in the third.
Carpenter hit a two-run home run around the left-field foul pole for a 4-0 lead. Nate Robertson and Austin Wallingford each drove home a run then Tony Audino tacked on the seventh run with a two-out double.
“I was trying to find a way to score (Wallingford),” Audino said. “I saw a good pitch, got it early and took advantage of it. The coaches are working with us to be more aggressive on pitches. If you see it, take advantage of it.”
Mesa added a run in the fourth and two in the sixth.
The Mavericks continued to swing the bats in the second game, scoring three runs in the first inning en route to the victory. The Rangers got one run back in the second, but Mitchell hit a two-run home run in the third inning to give the Mavericks a 6-1 lead. It was Mitchell’s first home run of the season.
“It was a fastball over the plate,” Mitchell said. “I was just looking to continue to hit the ball hard in play somewhere, but I’ll take that any day.”
It was a welcome sight for Mitchell, who was hitting .150 this season entering the series. He is hitting .400 this series.
“It took a while, but it’s coming,” he said. “I wasn’t seeing the ball well. I’ve been working hard in practice on getting my swing back. A lot of it is confidence too.”
Mesa added two runs in the fourth aided by a pair of Regis errors.
Matt Allen (2-1) limited Regis to one run on five hits in four innings. The sophomore made an unexpected start in place of Joey Danner, who was sick.
“(Allen) did all right,” Hanks said. “He didn’t prepare all week with the idea he’ll start. He’s still a young pitcher and a key guy for us. That’s more experience in the bank for him. Now, in his next start, he’ll be better.”
Kyle Davis (0-0) will likely start for the Mavericks today.