Numbers game: Mavs, Lopers combine for 51 runs in split

PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER TOMLINSON—Mesa State shortstop Colton Little forces out Nebraska-Kearney’s Brian Chirtz and tries to turn a double play Friday in the Mavs’ 24-18 loss in the first game of a doubleheader at Suplizio Field. The Mavs settled down in the second game, winning 6-3.



Numerologists would have had a field day Friday afternoon at Suplizio Field.

Some of the numbers from the University of Nebraska-Kearney’s 24-18 victory over Mesa State (yes, that’s 42 runs in 1 baseball game):

100: At-bats (51 for Mesa, 49 for Kearney)

42: Hits (21 apiece)

27: Players with a plate appearance (11 for Kearney, 16 for Mesa)

11: Pitchers used (4 for the Lopers, 7 for the Mavs); walks issued (2 by Kearney’s pitchers, 9 by Mesa’s); strikeouts (4 by UNK pitchers, 7 by MSC)

10: Doubles

9: RBI by Kearney’s Andrew Haake

9: Errors (5 by Kearney, 4 by Mesa)

7: At-bats for Kearney right fielder Patrick Oliver, who had 4 hits (3 doubles) and 5 RBI

5: Home runs

2: Grand slams (both by Haake)

2: Scoreless innings (6th and 7th)

The Mavericks came back to win the second game 6-3, scoring five runs in the bottom of the first. Marty Rover had a two-run double and Art Flores a two-run home run.

Chris Shea (5-2) allowed three runs on three hits through six innings, striking out five, and Jack Amidei allowed only a base hit in the ninth for his third save.

That first game, though ...

“I don’t think we were super-ready to play,” Mesa State coach Chris Hanks said. “We didn’t seem dialed in. I don’t know, it was a culmination of some errors, some walks, some seeing-eye ground balls, a couple of grand slams.

“I’ve gotta tip my hat to them, they beat us. I was really disappointed, not in our effort, but our focus.”

It was a rare struggle for starter Scott Bachman (3-3), who didn’t make it out of the second inning. He allowed nine runs on eight hits in 1 2/3 innings.

“It really bothered him that we didn’t play (Thursday) night,” Hanks said. “He was real upset that we didn’t play and I don’t know if that caused him not to be as sharp, but he wasn’t super-sharp.”

Kearney (19-13, 8-9 RMAC) scored three runs in the first inning, but the Mavericks came right back and put up six, chasing starter Austin Parker after Brian Bello hit a three-run home run for a 6-3 lead with two out.

The Lopers, though, didn’t seem bothered by Mesa’s big inning, scoring six in the second, and the slugfest was on.

It was 12-7 after three innings, 14-7 after four and 14-9 heading into the eighth.

That’s when Haake hit his second grand slam of the game (the first was in the Lopers’ six-run second), and not even scoring six runs in the bottom of the inning could get the Mavericks close enough.

“We kept swinging the bats,” Hanks said. “I just hate games like that. In the second inning, I looked at (pitching coach Jeff Rodgers) and said, ‘Is it going to be one of those games?’ You usually get these games at Highlands, where it’s ‘OK, first to 20 wins.’ ‘’

Hanks let the Mavericks (17-10, 13-6 RMAC) know exactly what needed to be done between games.

“You tell them you’d better get locked in,” he said. “We’ve got to have pitchers throw strikes, we can’t give them stuff.

“It was a combination of us hurting ourselves in game 1 and Kearney taking advantage of that and putting the ball in play. They made us field the balls we kicked.”

Tennis

The Mesa State men’s team won a pair of duals, blanking CSU-Pueblo 9-0 and edging Grand Canyon 5-4 in Pueblo. Brason Hollabaugh’s singles match at No. 5 made the difference against the Antelopes.

Hollabaugh gutted out a 5-7, 7-6 (7-4), 6-1 victory to seal the match. Mesa won two doubles matches, but Grand Canyon claimed the top three singles matches. The bottom half of the Mavs’ lineup, Nick Provenza at No. 4, Hollabaugh and Niko Carrizo at No. 6, all won.

The women’s team defeated CSU-Pueblo 6-3, winning at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles and then getting straight-set victories by Victoria Sargent (No. 3), Kaitlan Sera (No. 4), Amber Armendarez (No. 5) and Cyndle Curfman (No. 6).

The Mavs, though, lost 5-4 to Grand Canyon. Mandy Prudhomme of Grand Canyon won a third-set tiebreaker 10-4 over Armendarez at No. 5 singles and Ali Brackey claimed a 7-6 (7-1), 6-4 win at No. 6 over Curfman to clinch the win.


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