The Mavericks keep finding unusual ways to walk off as winners.
After winning Thursday's game on a dropped fly ball, Mid-Missouri came back from two runs down in the bottom of the ninth without a single hit to defeat the Kalamazoo Kings 7-6 Friday night at Taylor Stadium.
Mid-Missouri (25-37) overcame four errors to win its fourth consecutive game. The Mavericks made nine errors overall in the two-game series.
"We've been losing games that we didn't deserve to lose," manager Papo Davila said. "But I've said always that from the mistakes we learn."
After Kalamazoo scored two runs in the top of the ninth to take a 6-4 lead, the Mavericks responded by not putting a single ball in play.
After starting the bottom of the inning with a strikeout, Kalamazoo closer Greg Wiltshire walked Bryan Hedgecock and Wes Fewell, then hit Seth Brown to load the bases.
"[Wiltshire] you could tell was starting to get flustered, and that ball must have felt like it was 100 pounds," Mavericks starter Kelly Martin said. "That just gives the hitter an extra advantage."
Wiltshire then issued bases on balls to Joe Nichols and Adam Rittenhouse on five and four pitches, respectively, to tie the game.
Jim Cartwright relieved Wiltshire, who only threw nine of his 28 pitches for strikes, to face Cooper Vittitow. Vittitow swinged and missed for strike three, but backup catcher Phil Archer mishandled the pitch, and it dribbled behind him to the backstop.
Vittitow sprinted to first as Brown crossed the plate for a Mavericks winner.
"It's almost like they're letting you off the hook," Brown said about the walks.
Chris Barbettini (3-4) won both games in the two-game series. Wiltshire (0-4) suffered the loss.
The Kings had an opportunity to add at least one more run in the top of the ninth. After scoring on a throwing error and an RBI single, Kalamazoo still had the bases loaded with no outs.
The Kings' Walt Simmons hit a deep fly ball to left for what appeared to be an uncontested sacrifice fly, as Tory Haven crossed the plate standing up.
Davila told Barbettini from the dugout to throw to third base, as the umpires did not allow play to continue. Barbettini tossed the ball to Brown, who stepped on the bag. Umpires called Haven out, ruling that he left the bag early on the tag-up.
Kalamazoo manager Matthew Kent sprinted out of the dugout after home plate umpire Steve Dunahue made the call. Dunahue immediately ejected Kent, who continued his tirade and had to be restrained.
Throughout the game, the Mavericks had an answer each time the Kings scored.
Darryl Blaze led off the seventh with an infield single off Maverick reliever Ryan Bogardus after the third baseman Brown hesisitated to field the chopper. Wilson's sacrifice bunt advanced Blaze to second.
John Turrell entered the game in relief of Bogardus and proceeded to throw a wild pitch, moving Blaze to third. He then scored when Chris Carter hit what appeared to be a routine grounder to the shortstop Vittitow, but first baseman Blake Blase dropped the throw.
The Kings added another run when Carter scored on Brian Ferreira's sac fly to make it 4-2.
The Mavericks roared back in the bottom of the seventh. Rittenhouse led off with an infield single off the leg of pitcher Jason Biddlestone. Vittitow's sacrifice bunt moved Rittenhouse to second.
Bill Greenwell continued his hot hitting with an RBI single to center. Reliever Scott Lawson entered the game after Biddlestone walked Jose Carreno and got Darrell Sinclair to pop out.
Lawson lost control soon after, hitting Hedgecock to load the bases and walking Fewell on four pitches to tie the game at 4. Fewell had struck out his first three trips to the plate.
Mid-Missouri also answered after Kent's two-run homer gave Kalamazoo the first lead of the game, 2-0.
In the bottom of the fifth, Vittitow doubled with one out as the center fielder Blaze lost the flyball in the lights.
Greenwell followed with a weak grounder to second. Second baseman Tino Burgos scooped it up, but threw short to first. Steve Hindman couldn't handle the short hop, and Vittitow scored on the error.
After Greenwell advanced to second on Carreno's groundout to third, Blase knocked him in with a double to the right-center gap to tie the game at 2.
Kalamazoo threatened in the sixth when the first three batters reached base off Mid-Missouri reliever Brian Ross. Ross came back by striking out the next two batters. Bogardus then came in to face Burgos and induced a fielder's choice to end the inning.