Mesa, AZ—After finishing and dropping a previously scheduled game with GateWay Community College from February 28 before the regularly scheduled first pitch, 9-6 in 11 innings, the Mesa Community College baseball team (33-15, 19-14 ACCAC) held steady in the second game of the day to defeat the Geckos (31-17, 21-12) by a score of 6-3 on Tuesday afternoon in Mesa.
Despite allowing four runs on four hits to give the game from February to the Geckos, sophomore Matt Mosca allowed only one run on two hits and struck out three GateWay batters in his second appearance of the day for Mesa.
The Thunderbirds also received outstanding production from freshmen Andrew Apodaca and Matt Ayala who each recorded three-hit games and combined for three total runs batted in.
Game One (Postponed from February 28)
Entering the eleventh inning from the previously scheduled game, the Geckos broke the 5-5 tie with the bases loaded when sophomore Isaac Parra scored freshman Jeffrey Chandler from third giving GateWay a 7-6 lead. After freshman Matt Asta scored on a sacrifice fly out from sophomore Ian Evans, a single from sophomore Kyle Gibbs scored both sophomore Nathan Chokey and Parra extending the GateWay lead to 9-5.
The Thunderbirds were able to cut the deficit in the bottom half of the inning when freshman Esteban Martinez scored on fly out to right field, but it just wasn't enough as the game from February 28 went to the Geckos, 9-6.
Just like the first game of the day, the Geckos struck first in the top of the fourth inning when Gibbs reached first base after being hit by a pitch and then Chandler plated his teammate with an RBI double, giving GateWay the first lead of the game, 1-0.
The Thunderbirds responded in a big way in the bottom half of the fourth when GateWay's Chokey issued back-to-back walks to sophomore Jacob Boston and Martinez and sophomore Mike Roberson scored both runners on a single to leftfield giving Mesa the lead, 2-1.
The Mesa bats didn't stop there as Apodaca and Ayala roasted back-to-back RBI doubles to extend the Thunderbird lead after four to 4-1.
An RBI single and sacrifice fly from freshman Chandler Reynard in the sixth and eighth innings cut the deficit for GateWay going into the bottom of the eighth to 4-3, but another base hit from Apodaca scored freshman Kody Funderburk from second base and a sacrifice fly out from sophomore Hunter Bross plated freshman Johnny Gilleras to extend the Mesa lead and record the eventual final score, 6-3.
The Thunderbirds will look to make it two wins in a row over the Geckos when they head to GateWay Community College on Wednesday afternoon for a scheduled first pitch of 3:00 p.m. MST.