Mesa, AZ- The #4T-Birds have found their postseason groove as they have advanced to the Region Championship series against Gateway this coming Thursday, Friday and Saturday if needed.
Mesa defeated the Glendale Gauchos in three games. winning the rubber match Saturday afternoon, 9-3.
Kody Funderburk threw 5.1 innings, striking out three and allowing four hits. Funderburk helped himself and his team at the plate as well, going 1-3 with an RBI, two walks and a scoring a run.
Esteban "new shoes" Martinez was the big run producer for Mesa as he knocked in four runs on two hits and a sac fly.
Mesa collected eight hits but also stayed patient at the plate by drawing nine walks. One big moment of the game came on a Mitchell Morimoto walk. Working the count to 3-0, with runners on first and third, Glendale decided to internionally walk Morimoto. On the pitch home, the Gaucho pitcher airmailed the catcher, sending the ball to the backstop. Drew Bailey raced home just before the tag was applied. With the commotion of the play, Glendales infielders relaxed onto the infield grass, negleting to call timeout which let Morimoto scamper to second while Hunter Bross, who starting on first, was able to make it to third.
Mesa took full advantage of the momentum of that play and scored five total runs in the inning. The T-Birds tacked on two more runs in the eighth inning to solidify the 9-3 victory.
Nick Ohanian collected a nations best 13th save of the season. Ohanian pitched a little longer than he normally would, throwing 3.2 innings, striking out six and allowing three hits. Ohanian struck out the final batter in three different innings.
Mesa will now move on to play Gateway for the Region Championship. The winner of the championship series will head to Enid, OK to play for the National Championship.
The T-Birds have defeated the Gauchos three out of four times this year. The first game will be Thursday at 3 p.m. with game two on Friday at the same time. If needed, both teams will play Saturday at noon. All games will be played at Mesa.