Late blast leads Mesa over Grossmont

Kale Williams, Staff Writer

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A home run in the bottom of the seventh inning was all the Mesa College baseball team needed to edge past Grossmont College on April 16, earning a 5-4 victory.

The win snapped Grossmont’s nine-game win streak while extending Mesa’s streak to four games.

First baseman Sean Baumes lead off the seventh in a big way with a blast over the right field wall for the go-ahead run,  giving the Olympians their first lead of the game.

“The pitcher made a mistake, just left a curve ball up,” Baumes said. “We had a good idea of what kind of pitches he was going to throw today so falling behind we just stayed relaxed and were patient.”

Things started a little rough for Mesa, and starting pitcher Chris Tuma, with the Olympians falling behind quickly after giving up two runs in the first and another in the second. After that, Tuma settled down giving up only one more run over the next five innings of work.

“The first couple of innings I was trying to work too fast so I had to slow my arm down,” Tuma said.

“He made a good adjustment, he started keeping his ball down. He was up the first two innings and once he kept it down they started rolling over on the ball and hitting more grounders,” Mesa Head Coach Kevin Hazlett said about Tuma.

The three-run deficit would not last long as the Olympians kept chipping away at the lead throughout the game.

“It wasn’t too bad today, we got it back to 3-1 and we faced their pitcher for the third time now so we had a good approach,” Hazlett said.

Mesa got its scoring started in the bottom of the second on an RBI single by shortstop Kevin Meriwether, but would leave the bases full after that.

In the third inning, Mesa added two more runs tying the game at three. The first run came on a base hit up the middle by Garrett Schilling. A throwing error on a ground ball later in the inning allowed for the second run to come across.

“We did a good job of putting the ball in play and putting the pressure on them,” Hazlett said.

In the top of the fifth inning, Grossmont retook the lead.  A lead off triple followed by a wild pitch would put them up 4-3.

The score would stay that way until the bottom of the sixth when Mesa strung together some hits.

Left fielder Ryan Lawson started off the inning with a lead off single and a well-placed sacrifice bunt moved him over to second. Meriwether singled again moving him to third.

Second baseman Tyler Timmer doubled him home making the score 4-4, but Timmer remained stranded at second.

After a 1-2-3 inning by Tuma on the mound Mesa’s bats would stay hot in their turn of the bottom of the seventh inning.

The 5-4 lead proved to be all that Mesa needed.  After the Olympians went to their bullpen for the eighth and ninth innings,  Grossmont would not get another hit.

“We have got double-digit hits the last week and half pretty much every game. It’s just the driving in runs that’s been missing but it was nice today to see that happen,” Hazlett said.

Mesa’s next game is on April 25, the last home game of the season, against Imperial Valley College at 2 p.m.

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