The Mid-Missouri Mavericks’ offense is starting to heat up, but the pitching isn’t coming along.
Three Mavericks pitchers couldn’t slow down a potent Gateway Grizzlies attack Thursday night, and Mid-Missouri dropped the first game of the doubleheader 10-4 at Taylor Stadium.
Mavericks pitchers combined to allow 11 hits, and three walks and threw four wild pitches during a game that featured a rain delay of almost an hour and a half.
“It was a tough night,” Mavericks catcher John Oehler said. “The rain made it tough.”
Leading 1-0 after the first inning, Gateway’s Jake Bollig hit the first pitch he saw after the delay from Mavericks starter Anthony Kozol (0-2) over the left field fence to stretch the lead to 2-0.
After Kozol retired the next two hitters, he allowed a single and hit a batter. Jimmy Reiter drove in both runners with a double to the right-center field gap, increasing Gateway’s lead to 4-0.
The Mavericks (1-4) wasted another strong night from outfielder Blake Blase, who went 2-for-4, including an RBI double and a walk. Blase had three hits Wednesday night in a comeback victory against Gateway.
“It’s always easier to hit at home,” Blase said.
Blase drew a walk to lead off the fourth inning. Samone Peters followed with a single to right, advancing Blase to third. Wes Fewell drove Blase in with a double to the right-center field gap, and Peters scored in the next at-bat on George Stricker’s RBI fielder’s choice, cutting the lead to 5-2.
That was as close as the Mavs got. Gateway (4-1) scored four runs in the fifth and one in the sixth.
“You don’t want to get behind with these hitters, and we did,” Oehler said.
Mavericks designated hitter Nick Saunders hit his first home run of the season in the fifth, sending the ball over the 370-foot sign to cut the lead to 9-3.