For a while it looked like the Mid-Missouri Mavericks were going to let another one slip away.
After making it interesting in the end, the Mavericks held on and defeated the Gateway Grizzlies 7-6 on Sunday at Taylor Stadium.
Mid-Missouri improved to
19-53. Gateway fell to 42-32.
With the Mavericks leading 7-5 in the ninth, closer Justin Craker intentionally walked Grizzlies first baseman Phil Warren to load the bases and bring up right fielder Damon Monette with two out. Craker proceeded to throw a wild pitch and Ryan Sullivan came home from third.
Blake Blase ended the game with a play
at first base, though. Rafael Lara fielded Monette’s grounder but threw wide to Blase, who had to stretch to make the catch and the final out.
“We were ahead and they almost caught up and if we didn’t get that great play at first base we’d still be playing,” Mavericks manager Jim Gentile said. “It was a (close game). We never have what we call a laugher … we have to fight for everything.”
Mid-Missouri’s Eric Darjean hit his first home run of the season in the three-run second. Darjean’s two-run shot scored Brent Metheny for a 3-1 lead.
“It felt good. I will be thinking about it till my next one,” Darjean said. “Every once in a while you will try to put a swinger on slider, but it usually doesn’t work. (Sunday) it worked and it felt good.”
The Mavericks went ahead 7-5 in the seventh when John Wright hit a double down the left field line, bringing in Lara and Dusty Hillman.
CJ Thomas, the second batter up for the Mavericks in the eighth, ducked trying to avoid being hit in the head by Grizzlies reliever Ryan Hamilton. Thomas threw down his bat and headed for first base after the pitch, but the umpire called a foul tip. Hamilton ended up striking Thomas out.
“I didn’t think that ball hit CJ’s bat,” Gentile said. “(The home plate umpire) had to go ask the first base umpire who was 90 feet away. It turned out all right. We never have an easy game.”