Julian Boyd is one of the best two-out hitters the Colorado Mesa baseball team has ever had.
The senior right fielder has shown a knack for hitting in the clutch the past two seasons, and recently he’s gotten pretty good at hitting with fewer than two out.
Sunday afternoon, after a rain delay of nearly an hour and the Mavs coming from behind three times to tie Metro State in the first game of a doubleheader at The Diamond and finally sending the game to extra innings, Boyd went to the plate in a 9-9 game in the bottom of the eighth.
Two out, one on, Boyd turned on a 1-0 pitch and drove it over the right-field fence for a walk-off 11-9 victory.
The Mavericks couldn’t sustain the momentum from the wild finish, falling 6-2 in the second game. The RMAC rivals will finish the key conference series at 1 this afternoon, with the Mavericks 11-7, 2-1 RMAC) looking to clinch the series and the No. 27 Roadrunners (16-5, 1-2) trying to salvage a split.
Metro took leads of 3-0, 6-3 and 9-7, only to see the Mavericks come back every time and tie the game.
Back-to-back doubles in the third inning by Caleb Thomasen and Boyd scored two runs after Harrison Rodgers grounded out to get the first run of the inning home.
With the Mavs down 6-3 in the middle of the fourth, play was suspended by rain, but after a 55-minute delay, Declan Wiesner beat out a two-out infield single. Jonathan Gonzalez reached on an error, and after a pitching change, Rodgers hit a three-run home run to right to tie the game at 6-6.
Cade Nicol replaced starting pitcher Kannon Handy in the fifth and gave up a pair of runs, but Boyd led off the bottom of the inning with a double and scored on Conrad Villafuerte’s one-out single to center. Mesa had runners at second and third, but Wiesner grounded into a double play, and the Roadrunners extended the lead to 9-7 in the top of the seventh.
Again, Boyd led off the inning with a base hit and Max Valdez singled. Villafuerte moved the runners up on a sacrifice bunt and Paul Schoenfeld tied it again with a two-run single up the middle.
Anthony Durbano retired Metro in order in the eighth, setting up Boyd, who was 4 for 5, scored three runs and drove in three. Rodgers went 1 for 5 with the home run, but had four RBI.
Durbano got the win with 1 2/3 innings of relief. He allowed one inherited runner to score on a seventh-inning sacrifice fly, but retired the next four batters in order.
Metro took a 5-0 lead in the second game, hitting three solo home runs. Valdez and Robert Sharrar hit solo home runs in the fourth and six, respectively, for CMU.
The Mavericks continued to score runs in bunches in a 15-0, 14-6 sweep of New Mexico Highlands.
A 10-run second inning put the opener out of reach early, with the Mavericks using seven hits and a pair of Highlands errors. Mesa scored seven runs in the third inning of the second game after falling behind 5-0.
Rylee Crouch led off the Mavs’ big first-game second inning with a home run, and with the bases loaded and one out, Iliana Mendoza reached on an error, with two runs scoring. Three straight hits, a single by Makayla Westmoreland and back-to-back doubles by Ashley Bradford and Crouch, scored five more runs and Brandi Haller added a two-run single.
Bradford and Crouch had three hits and four RBI each to lead CMU’s 15-hit attack.
Hannah Sattler (8-4) threw a two-hit shutout, facing only 18 batters. She didn’t walk a batter and struck out two, needing only 51 pitches.
Marisa Nehm struggled in one-plus innings, allowing five runs on four hits, but Kennedy Vis entered and settled things, allowing only one run and scattering six hits. None of the Mavs’ three pitchers recorded a strikeout in the game, but got 14 ground-ball outs.
Another home run by Crouch was the big blow in the third inning, which drove in a pair of runs. Bella Aragon led off the inning with a double and came home on a base hit by Sharp. RBI singled by Westmoreland and Bradford made it 5-3, and Crouch’s home run tied it at 5-5. Sarah Jorissen ripped a one-out triple to get another run home, and she came home on a base hit by Aragon.
Crouch went 3 for 5 and drove in five runs and Haller hit a home run in the sixth.