Pitching carries Mavs

Sunday, July 18, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 8:52 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Springfield/Ozark fans’ incessant duck calling didn’t seem to bother Mid-Missouri on Saturday night at Taylor Stadium.

The Mavericks beat the Ducks 7-3 to move to 11-41.

Mavericks coach Jim Gentile said the Ducks (29-24) are a good hitting club, but that starter Steve Soja threw a good game against them.

“We were trying to get it started, we had a rough game last night,” said Soja about the Mavericks’ 15-2 loss to the Ducks on Friday.

“After a game like that you definitely want to go out there have a long outing and get some momentum going.”

Soja (3-3) stayed in the game through the sixth. He allowed six hits, two earned runs and struck out four. David Lemieux threw the next two innings, and Justin Craker pitched the ninth.

“They worked perfectly,” Gentile said. “. . . Soja wanted to keep going, he could have kept going, but I thought he was getting tired.”

Soja said he is getting used to his role as a starter.

“I normally have been a reliever in college,” Soja said. “I feel like I am starting to get the hang of it.”

The Mavericks took a 2-0 lead in the third inning. Rafael Lara reached on a bunt that the Ducks pitcher Cody Fisher mishandled. Then Dusty Hillman hit a home run over the left field wall.

The Mavericks scored again in the fourth and added two more in the sixth. After Fisher intentionally walked Eric Darjean to load the bases in the sixth, Rafael Lara’s short single to right field scored Matt Oakes.

The Ducks replaced Fisher with Ryan Chenard, who walked Chad Sternbens to score Darjean and put Mid-Missouri ahead 5-2.

Darjean went 3-for-3 with one RBI and a triple. Gentile said Darjean played a beautiful game.

“That’s the way I want to drive, to the right-center field gap,” said Darjean about his triple. “That’s my thought process every time I go up to the plate. Get a ball to drive, stay on the ball a little longer.”

In Ducks’ half of the sixth, Darjean made a difficult play on a deep fly ball by Todd Leathers for the first out for the inning.

The Ducks scored two runs in the fourth and one run in the seventh.

The Mavericks scored single runs in the seventh and eighth innings.

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