In a game measured by how well each team could take advantage of the opponent’s mistakes, and the Mid-Missouri Mavericks did it better Sunday.
The Mavericks defeated Springfield-Ozark 10-9 at Taylor Stadium. Mid-Missouri won the series 2-1, improving to 12-41. The Ducks fell to 28-26.
The Mavericks came from behind after giving up a 6-3 lead in the fifth. The game featured 11 pitchers and 14 walks.
The Mavericks trailed 9-7 heading into the seventh. Eric Darjean walked and the Mavericks tied the game at 9 on consecutive triples by Brent Metheny and Chad Sterbens.
Sterbens scored the winning run when Ducks’ third baseman Tanner Townsend couldn’t handle pinch hitter Tony Wittmus’ grounder.
Mavericks manager Jim Gentile said a stable roster has helped the team.
“We had a very good comeback,” he said. “It shows the team is coming together. I think we are going to win more games like that.
“What makes the team is we are not making changes anymore. The guys are now with the team. They are not looking over their shoulders if someone is going to take their jobs.”
The Ducks went ahead in the fifth, capitalizing on walks by three Mavericks’ pitchers. They combined for four bases-loaded walks in the inning.
After the Ducks hit three consecutive singles to load the bases, Mavericks starter John Picco got Kalko Oligo to fly out to shallow left field. Picco walked the next hitter, David Munoz, to score a run. Ty Kline relieved Picco and gave up two more walks, allowing the Ducks to tie the game at 6. The Mavericks’ third reliever, Jimmy Jackson, walked Steve Haake to force in another run, and Todd Leathers singled to give the Ducks 9-6 lead.
The Mavericks started well, scoring six runs in the first two innings, taking advantage of Ducks starter Matt Blanton, who had hard time controlling his pitches.
After Blanton walked two batters in the first, the Mavericks’ Matt Oakes doubled to left-center field to score two runs. Oakes reached home on Darjean’s single to right to give the Mavericks a 3-0 lead. Metheny followed with a two-out, two-run home run to extend the lead to 5-0. The inning ended when Joe Nichols struck out.
Oakes hit another double in the second to drive in Rafael Lara and gain a 6-0 lead.
“I was seeing the ball well tonight,” Oakes said. “I just tried to do what I was supposed to do.”