Wild pitch does in Mavericks at Metro
A wild pitch in the bottom of the seventh inning Sunday allowed Metro State to break a 3-3 tie and upend Colorado Mesa 4-3 in the RMAC baseball regular-season finale for both teams.
Jake Mielock (2-2) walked Danny Ortiz Jr. to lead off the seventh inning, who was bunted to second. Aaron Germani walked, with Ortiz moving to third and scoring on a wild pitch before Mielock got the final two batters of the inning to ground out.
The Mavericks (40-10 32-4 RMAC) got the tying run to second in the eighth inning when Will Dixon singled and took second on an error in right field, but Zach McLeod, Matt Haggerty and Greg Reynolds all grounded out, and Mesa went down in order in the ninth.
Eighth-ranked Colorado Mesa, the top seed in the RMAC tournament starting Wednesday at Suplizio Field, got a leadoff double from PJ Gonzalez, who scored on Tanner Nieslanik’s singled to right.
Metro tied it in the third before back-to-back doubles by Bligh Madris and Dixon, followed by a two-out single by Greg Reynolds, who took second on a throwing error, allowing Dixon to score and give CMU a 3-1 lead.
A two-run single by Hunter Donaldson off Jarrett Bott in the third tied the game 3-3.
Taylor Prokopis allowed one run on three hits in the first three innings. He struck out three and didn’t walk a batter in his second straight effective start.
Despite getting 11 hits, the Mavericks stranded eight runners. Dixon, McLeod and Reynolds all went 2 for 4 and Lane LaCrone 2 for 3.
The first game of the RMAC tournament is scheduled for noon between third-seeded Metro State (25-23, 19-16) and No. 4 CSU-Pueblo (23-24, 17-16), with second-seeded Colorado School of Mines (28-20, 20-15) facing No. 5 CU-Colorado Springs (22-25, 17-16).
The Mavericks face sixth-seeded Regis (25-23, 18-17) at 7 p.m.
CSU-Pueblo and UCCS both finished .001 percentage point ahead of Regis in the standings, which are determined by conference winning percentage since weather affects the number of games teams play.
Three games are scheduled each of the first three days of the tournament, with the championship game at 1 p.m. on Saturday. A second title game, if necessary, follows at 3:30 p.m. in the double-elimination tournament. The RMAC tournament champion receives an automatic bid to the six-team NCAA Division II South Central Region playoffs. Mesa is No. 2 in the region, trailing Angelo State, the Lone Star Conference regular-season champion. Another regular-season regional ranking will be released Wednesday, with tournament bids announced at 8 p.m. on May 14 online at ncaa.com.
TRACK AND FIELD
Danny Vavrik and Trevor Jensen each earned wins on the first day of the RMAC Championships meet.
Vavrik won the 10,000 meters in 32 minutes, 59.35 seconds. Blake Graf was third in 33:14.16. Jensen won the hammer throw with a mark of 178 feet, 5 inches.
Nolan Ellis placed third in the pole vault (15-7) and Kyle Yoder was fifth (14-7.25). Vernon Jackson finished seventh in the long jump with a leap of 22-7.75.
The Mavericks have four men in the top-10 of the decathlon after day one. Spencer Jahr leads with 3,586 points and D’Angelo Foster is second with 3,534 points. Ethen Besier is seventh (3,144) and Nick Pulos is 10th (2,797).
Colorado Mesa was left out of the eight-team national championship field when the NCAA announced its tournament bracket Sunday night.
Mesa finished the season with 26 wins in its past 28 games dating back to last season, including Saturday’s 20-7 victory in the RMAC tournament championship game.
The Mavericks, coming off their second consecutive RMAC regular season and tournament titles, finished with a 16-2 record — the program’s best since it’s first season in 2011.