The Mid-Missouri Mavericks haven’t exhausted their supply of ninth-inning magic.
After winning games in the last at-bat the previous two games, the Mavericks did it again Saturday night, defeating the Washington Wild Things 3-2 at Taylor Stadium.
The Mavericks (25-38) have won five in a row.
With the Mavs trailing 2-1, Blake Blase led off the bottom of the ninth with a single through the left side. Seth Brown followed by laying down a sacrifice bunt to advance Blase to second.
Jake Whitesides came off the bench to pinch-hit for Darrell Sinclair.
Whitesides, battling a leg injury, hit a line drive that bounced past Washington right fielder Jake Bollig.
Blase scored as Whitesides ended up with a triple, tying the game at 2.
“When I put my head down, I thought I was only going to first,” Whitesides said.
“I thought he was going to cut the ball off. So I get on first base and look up, and I see the ball is past him, and I thought to myself, ‘I better start running or I’ll look like an idiot.’”
Wes Fewell then singled through the right side, and Whitesides came home for the winning run.
Teammates mobbed Whitesides and Fewell.
“I’m finally starting to pick it up a little bit,” Fewell said.
He raised his average to .214 with a 2-for-2 game.
Washington wasted starting pitcher Nick Aiello’s strong performance. In seven innings, he allowed two hits and one unearned run while striking out seven.
Washington closer Anthony Kozol (2-1) could not shut down the Mavs and suffered the loss.
Chris Barbettini (4-4) has picked up the win in each of the past three games.
“When they brought in the relievers in the eighth inning, I believed it was my game because I have a couple guys on the bench that I knew could give me the win,” Mavs manager Papo Davila said.
Catcher Josh Loggins put the Wild Things on top in the seventh inning with his league-leading 17th home run into the Mid-Missouri bullpen beyond the left field wall.
Loggins, who went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, took advantage of the few mistakes Mavericks starter Jared Wood made.
Wood pitched seven strong innings, allowing only two runs and four hits and striking out five.
The Mavericks picked up where they left off Friday night, scoring their first run without getting a hit.
Cooper Vittitow drew a one-out walk, then stole second and advanced to third when Loggins’ throw trickled into the outfield.
Jose Carreno then drove Vittitow home with a sacrifice fly to center.
The Wild Things got to Wood in the fourth inning. Blake Woods led off with a double to left field.
Jon Cahill then followed with a sacrifice bunt, and one out later, Loggins singled sharply up the middle to drive Woods home to tie the game at 1.