MCC Baseball loses opening district game on extra-inning walk-off homer
MCC came back from a 7-2 deficit in the eighth inning, took an 8-7 lead in the ninth but lost in the 10th on a walk-off home run against No. 19 Pima Community College.
“It’s tough to put into words the emotions of that game, just back and forth,” said MCC Coach Jon Olsen. “We were down and came back like we’ve done all year, took a lead into the bottom of the ninth and just couldn’t close it out.”
The loss sends MCC into an elimination game Friday at noon against Southeast Community College, a 13-3 loser in the second game of the day against Salt Lake Community College.
“To lose in extra innings in a game of that magnitude on a walk off homer… man that one stings. But we have another chance tomorrow to get back out and play, our guys will be ready,” said Olsen.
Aztec leadoff hitter Gage Mestes was hit by a pitch in the bottom of the first inning and came home with the first run of the game on a two-out double by Benji Cazares. Pima added another run in the fourth on a double by Rocco Gump and an RBI single by Braedon Mondeau to give Pima a 2-0 lead.
In the fifth the Aztecs added two more runs on a leadoff Mestes single, a walk and an RBI-groundout with Cazares batting.
MCC came back with two runs in the sixth inning. A Pima error and a walk put the first two runners on base, but Aztec sophomore left-hander Matt Cornelius induced a doubleplay ball with Josh Maysonave (Austin, Texas) batting to relieve the base traffic. However, sophomore Abel Reyes (Puerto Caimito, Panama) cut the MCC deficit in half with a two-run home run to left field.
Pima regained the four-run advantage in the bottom of the sixth with a two-out, two-run single by Mestes to go up 6-2.
Myles Chabi (Sydney, Australia) pitched six innings for MCC, allowing eight hits, one walk and he struck out four.
Jereniel Herrera (freshman, Panama City, Panama) entered the game in relief in the bottom of the seventh inning and walked the first three batters he faced on 13 pitches but came back to strike out the next two before a bases-loaded walk gave Pima a 7-2 lead.
“I thought both Chabi and Jereniel really competed, we probably just had a couple too many free passes. It seemed like when we did give up a free pass those guys scored,” said Olsen. “Offensively we just kept competing and got back into it, had some big swings at times.”
A pair of Pima errors in the eighth inning led to a five-run comeback for MCC. A leadoff two-base error and a single by Ethan Murdoch (Swift Current, Saskatchewan) gave MCC the first run of the inning. A second Pima error and an RBI-single by Reyes made it a 7-4 Aztec lead. A walk by freshman Jason Serafinchon (Spruce Grove, Alberta) loaded the bases with no outs. Freshman Zeke Minic (Thornton, Colo.) drove home two with a single to make it a 7-6 game and a one-out sacrifice fly by sophomore Tyus Chudomelka (Bellevue) tied the game at 7-7.
MCC took an 8-7 lead in the ninth on a bases-loaded walk by Minic but Pima tied the game on a one-out double by Gump (his third of the game) in the bottom of the inning. The Aztecs had runners on second and third base with one out but Herrera was able to keep MCC alive recording a strikeout and an inning-ending flyout.
In the bottom of the 10th inning, Pima scored the walk-off win on a one-out home run by sophomore Andrew Stuckey.
Pima outhit MCC 11-10 with five-extra base hits, but the Aztecs committed four errors.
Reyes had three hits for MCC, Murdoch and Alliskair Descartes (Thornton, Colo.) had two each.
Herrera pitched 3.1 innings in relief, allowing three hits, three earned runs, five walks and four strikeouts.
MCC goes to 37-24 and will play Southeast at noon Friday. Pima (46-18) will play Salt Lake CC (29-17) at 3 p.m. The winner of Friday’s MCC-Southeast game will play another elimination game at 7 p.m. Friday against the loser of the Pima-Salt Lake game. The winner of this tournament will move on to the JUCO World Series.
For all the up-to-date information on MCC baseball this season including up-to-date scheduling changes, statistics, rosters and photos, please visit the official website of MCC Athletics at mccindians.com
WEST DISTRICT TOURNAMENT
Beatrice (All times CT)
THURSDAY May 18
Game 1 – Pima CC 9, McCook CC 8 (10 innings)
Game 2 – Salt Lake CC 13, Southeast CC 3 (7 innings)
FRIDAY May 19
Game 3 – McCook CC (37-24) vs. Southeast CC (42-17), noon (Elimination Game)
Game 4 – Pima CC (46-16) vs. Salt Lake CC (29-17), 3 p.m.
Game 5 – Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 loser, 7 p.m. (Elimination Game)
SATURDAY May 19
Game 6 – Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, noon
Game 7 – Game 6 winner vs. Game 6 loser (if necessary), 3 p.m.