Provencher’s clutch HR gives Mavericks a doubleheader sweep
It seemed fitting that a walk-off home run would be the only solution in a wild game involving runs in a variety of ways.
Good thing for the Mesa State College baseball team it had the last at-bat.
Mike Provencher ended the second game of a doubleheader Saturday with an opposite-field home run to lift the Mavericks to a 12-11 RMAC victory over Metro State at Suplizio Field for the doubleheader sweep. The fourth-ranked Mavericks (12-2, 3-0 RMAC) won the first game 11-4 and will go for the series sweep at noon today.
The senior from El Paso, Texas, pumped his fist as he rounded first base as the ball cleared the right-field fence, then tossed his helmet in the air as he was greeted by his entire team at home plate.
“It was huge, especially in a game like that,” Provencher said. “(The Roadrunners) are a good team. They kept answering every time we would score and just the sequence of events and how all that happened. I was just looking for a good pitch to hit honestly.
“I was trying to stay calm and relax myself. The last thing I wanted to do was jump ahead of myself and swing at something I wasn’t looking for. I wanted to see if I could take him deep in the count and make him work a little more.”
Metro State pitcher Ted Jamison had already thrown 100 pitches when Provencher came up to bat to lead off the seventh. Provencher made him throw five more.
“I felt like he might have a chance to get a hold of one just because in the first few pitches his rhythm at the plate was really nice,” Mesa State coach Chris Hanks said. “The biggest thing I wanted as a coach was a base runner. I want to make the Jamison kid, who is a good kid, pitch with a runner on, but Mikey hit one out with two strikes.”
Up until Provencher’s blast, Jamison (2-2) limited Mesa to one run since the third inning as the Roadrunners (9-7, 0-3) rallied from a 10-4 deficit to take an 11-10 lead in the top of the sixth inning.
Metro’s rally came after it’s coach, Jerry Schemmel, was ejected after Provencher’s first home run of the day in the third inning. Provencher was 2 for 4 with four RBI in the game.
The three-run blast put the Mavericks up 10-4, but Schemmel wasn’t pleased when Kevin Becker was called safe on a close play at first base with two outs before Provencher’s blast.
In the first game. Mesa State pitcher Jason Fronczak (3-0) didn’t allow the Roadrunners to mount much of a rally.
The senior right-hander from Bishop, Calif., limited Metro State to four runs on five hits and struck out six in a complete game.
“Fronczak was outstanding,” Hanks said. “He pitched ahead in the count and had success. I think some of our lack of success when we had the 10-4 lead in Game 2, all the bad things happened when we were behind in the count. I still believe we have the arms, we’ve just got to get them pitching a little better with a little more command.”