Strong start by Mosca helps baseball to 6-4 regional win over Phoenix

Matt Mosca's eight strong innings keyed Mesa's playoff win (Photo by Aaron Webster)
Matt Mosca's eight strong innings keyed Mesa's playoff win (Photo by Aaron Webster)

  MESA, AZ - Getting eight strong innings from lefty Matt Mosca (Fr., Las Vegas, Nev/Cimmaron-Memorila H.S.) who helped Mesa slide into the ninth inning with a 6-0 lead, MCC defeated Phoenix, 6-4, Friday to even the Region I semi-final series at a game apiece, setting up a winner-take-all battle Saturday.

  The game to advance to the regional championship series will start at noon at Mesa and give the winner a home series against fourth-seeded Scottsdale which ended its series against No. 1-seed Paradise Valley with a 10-4 victory Friday.

 With Mosca in control, the T-Birds inched out a run in each of the first three innings to go up 3-0, just as they had the previous day in what turned out to be a 9-6 loss.

  In the first, Alex Gudac (So., West Jordan, Utah/Juan Diego Catholic H.S.) was hit by a pitch and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Mitchell Morimoto (Fr., Issaquah, Wash/Issaquah H.S.).

  Brady Bate (Fr., Spanish Fork, Utah/Spanish Fork H.S.) led off the second with a triple, his fifth of the year, and scored on a ground ball by Jacob Boston (Fr., Chandler, AZ/Hamilton H.S.).

  MCC made it 3-0 in the third after a double by Gudac. Jordan Zimmerman (So., Mesa, AZ/Red Mountain H.S.) drove him in with a single. That was the second of four hits for Zimmerman who also had four in game one and is 8-9 in the series.

  It stayed 3-0 until the seventh. Another leadoff triple, this one by James Anderson (So., Henderson, Nev/Coronado H.S.) keyed this inning with the run scoring on a sacrifice squeeze by Casey Moses (So., Tremonton, Utah/Bear River H.S.).

  Leading 4-0 Mesa tacked on two more in the eighth with no one realizing how important those runs would be.

  Zimmerman and Morimoto cracked back-to-back doubles with Zimmerman scoring. Boston then drove home Morimoto.

  Up 6-0, Mosca attempted to go for a complete game, but after two singles by the Bears to start the inning, MCC coach Tony Cirelli went to the bull pen for closer Garrett Bowman (So., Roy, Utah/Roy H.S.).

  Normally solid in those situations, Bowman walked the first batter he saw. After a strikeout, a fielder's choice scored PC's first run of the game. Pinch hitter Joe Meyers made things interesting with a three-run homer to close the gap to 6-4 making those eighth inning MCC runs oh, so important.

  After a walk, however, Bowman got the third out sending the series into a one-game playoff.

  Along with Zimmerman's four hits, Gudac and Morimoto had two hits each.

  Mosca eventually was charged with seven hits and two runs, but gave the T-Birds eight innings sensational innings of five-hit shutout pitching, before the 100 degree heat may have taken its toll, in easily his best, and most important, start of the year.

View: Mobile | Desktop