After opening the season with an onslaught of errors, the Mid-Missouri Mavericks took advantage of somebody else’s defensive lapse.
Frank Scott, Jr. scored from second on an infield single in the bottom of the ninth, giving the Mavericks their first win of the season, 4-3 against the Gateway Grizzlies on Wednesday in their home opener at Taylor Stadium.
With the game tied at 3, Scott entered as a pinch runner for Blake Blase, who led off with a double.
Two outs later, Mavericks catcher John Oehler hit a dribbler to second. With the Gateway first baseman going for the ball and pitcher Joe Dooley (0-1) not covering, second baseman Tony Coyne hesitated.
That pause gave the speedy Scott enough time to score the winning run and drop Gateway to 3-1 this year.
Scott said he was surprised when third base coach Pete LaCock waved him home.
“I knew I was going to be safe halfway, after the second baseman faked the throw,” Scott said.
Justin Craker (1-0) earned the win, pitching one inning of scoreless relief.
George Stricker opened the Mavericks’ scoring with a two-run home run in the second.
“I was looking for a fastball, and he gave it to me,” Stricker said.
Stricker sparked the offense again in the fifth inning. He led off with a single to right and scored from third on a Derrick Peoples single three batters later to stretch the Mavs’ lead to 3-1.
Mid-Missouri starter Jason Wiedmeyer cruised through the first six innings, allowing one run on a fourth-inning home run by Gateway’s Greg Stevens.
Wiedmeyer didn’t make it out of the seventh. With one out, he found himself working with the bases loaded after two singles and an error by third baseman Nick Saunders. Jimmy Reiter followed with a double to right-center to tie the game at 3.
The Mavericks (1-3) committed eight errors in their first three games, and Stricker made a play in the ninth that almost cost the Mavericks the lead.
With nobody out, Gateway catcher Wayne Astrauskas hit a shallow fly ball to right field. Stricker chased it at full speed, but the ball hit off the heel of his glove and hit the ground.
Astrauskas stole second base and headed for third as Stricker kicked the ball into foul territory. Stricker picked up the ball, whirled and threw Astrauskas out at third with a one-hop throw to third baseman Nick Saunders.