PARADISE VALLEY, AZ - A big eighth inning for Paradise Valley spelled the difference as Mesa fell to the Pumas, 15-7, in the completion of an ACCAC series Saturday.
The loss leaves MCC (35-15, 22-14) eliminated from the race for the No. 1 seed in the up-coming Region I playoffs. The T-Birds are still two games ahead of Phoenix for the No. 2 spot with four games to play. Those two will close the regular season with a home-and-home series Friday and Saturday. Before that, Mesa will visit Scottsdale Tuesday and host the Artichokes Wednesday.
PVCC (35-12, 27-9) broke a 3-3 tie with three runs in the bottom of the fourth. After the T-Birds battled back with two in the sixth, the Pumas answered with three more in the bottom of the inning.
Mesa was still within striking distance until the bottom of the eight, trailing 9-7 after scoring twice in that frame, but Paradise Valley broke it open with six in its half of the inning.
Drew Lawrence (Fr., Anthem, AZ/Boulder Creek H.S.) was 2-4 with both hits being doubles and four RBIs.
Mitchell Morimoto (Fr., Issaquah, Wash/Issaquah H.S.) was 2-5 with two RBIs and his sixth triple of the year which puts he and Alex Gudac (So., West Jordan, Utah/Juan Diego Catholic H.S.), who was also 2-5, tied for fourth in the nation.