Ogilvy captures another Match Play title
For the most part this season, the Mesa State College baseball team has survived some early tests.
This time, it caught up to the fourth-ranked Mavericks.
Metro State rallied to defeat the Mavericks 10-9 in the final game of a four-game RMAC series Sunday at Suplizio Field. Mesa State’s loss ended an eight-game winning streak.
The Roadrunners (10-7, 1-3 RMAC) scored four runs all with two outs in the ninth for the victory.
“It goes to show what perseverance will do for you when you don’t quit in the game and stay aggressive and focused,” Metro State coach Jerry Schemmel said. “We got some breaks in this last game, obviously. Mesa’s not going to commit four errors every game and we took advantage of it. We played hard and are thrilled to get the last game.”
Five Metro batters were down to their last strike before getting a hit or drawing a walk to extend the inning.
Brennan Brown was down to one strike when he singled off Scott Bachman to keep Metro’s hopes alive.
Mesa (12-3, 3-1 RMAC) countered by bringing in closer Aaron Guinn, who quickly put Tyree Abshire in an 0-2 hole, but the Paonia High School standout singled. Marcel Dominguez drew a walk after fouling off two two-strike pitches, loading the bases. Tommy Frikken hit a routine ground ball to third base, but Austin Buck mishandled it, allowing every baserunner to advance safely. Two runs scored, cutting the lead to 9-8.
Mesa State coach Chris Hanks brought in T.J. Butch out of the bullpen, and the senior got the Mavericks down to one strike away from victory again.
Metro senior Matt McConnell, fighting to keep the rally alive, got enough bat on the ball to punch it into short left field to score the tying and go-ahead run.
“They battled for some hits,” Hanks said. “They got the soft hit in right to get it going. They got the blooper into left. We’re playing deep, a little too deep probably. They got hits on three 0-2 counts. You’ve got to tip your cap to them. It’s baseball.
“We lost the game in the early innings when we didn’t execute bunts and move runners. We’re playing for one run and we didn’t have anyone that can execute the game. As a result, we lose,” Hanks said.
The Mavericks built a 9-4 lead while Mesa State starter Andy Williams kept Metro hitters off balance.
The senior right-hander from Taos, N.M., worked out of a first-inning jam, allowing one unearned run despite two Mesa errors. From there, he gave up two solo home runs and a two-run shot, but left with a 9-5 lead. Williams allowed four earned runs on seven hits and struck out five in 62/3 innings.
“Andy gave us a chance to win,” Hanks said. “That’s a ball game we should win. Andy deserved the win. He needed some teammates to step up and make plays. He needed some bullpen guys to come in and shut it down. Offensively, we had a chance to crack that game open. I think we got a little selfish in some at-bats rather than move runners like we’re coached to do. We needed a run and didn’t get it done.”
The Mavericks will get a chance to get back on the winning track Tuesday in a doubleheader at Dixie State (Utah) College in St. George, Utah, before hosting New Mexico Highlands in a four-game RMAC series this weekend.