PHOENIX, AZ - For the second straight game Mesa's normally sound defense committed five errors, but this time the gaffes proved too much to overcome as the T-Birds fell at South Mountain Wednesday, 11-5.
MCC (34-10, 21-9) had committed five errors in it's thrilling, 6-5, win in 13 innings Tuesday, but most did not lead to runs.
Two miscues in the second inning Wednesday helped SMCC (29-17, 16-10) score six runs, only two of which were earned. Starting pitcher Michael Warning (Fr., Henderson, AZ/Coronado H.S.) retired five of the first six batters he faced, but then ran into trouble as six straight Cougars reached base with two outs in the inning.
Mesa battled back by scoring four in the fourth to close the gap to 6-4, also mostly with two out. After a one-out walk to Jordan Zimmerman (So., Mesa, AZ/Red Mountain H.S.) the T-Birds ran off a string of successful at bats of their own.
With two away, Brady Bate (Fr., Spanish Fork, Utah/Spanish Fork H.S.) delivered his 18th double of the year, second best in the nation only to teammate Mitchell Morimoto (Fr., Issaquah, Wash/Issauah H.S.). Drew Lawrence (Fr., Anthem, AZ/Boulder Creek H.S.) then singled, Jacob Boston (Fr., Chandler, AZ/Hamilton H.S.) doubled and Hunter Robson (Fr., Chandler, AZ/Hamilton H.S.) had a base hit to put MCC right back in it.
Two more errors in the bottom of the inning, however, led to four more South Mountain runs, all unearned, giving the Cougars a 10-4 margin.
Mesa got one more in the seventh, but could not overcome the deficit.
Robson finished 3-4, while Zimmerman was 2-4 and Morimoto 2-5.
The T-Birds will host Pima in a doubleheader Saturday beginning at noon.