Mesa, AZ - Small ball wins ballgames and that is definitly a true fact for the #7 Mesa Thunderbirds baseball team as they defeated the Central Arizona Vaqueros Wednesday afternoon, 3-2, on a bunt.
Tied at two heading into the bottom of the ninth, Mesa's Taylor Darden lead the inning off with a walk. Josh Leslie executed a bunt down the third base line that was misplayed by the Vaquero third baseman which allowed runners on first and second.
A soft ground ball back to the pitcher by Cade Maestas allowed the runners to move up to second and third with just one out. Central Arizona brought in its right fielder to be a fifth infielder but it was Zach Wagner who executed a perfect bunt that allowed Darden to score from third and help Mesa take the one run victory.
Both starting pitchers had solid outings as neither team's offense put runs on the board till Central scored first in the seventh inning. Jake Denham went seven innings for Mesa, allowing five hits, one run and striking out five. The winning pitcher was Nolan Ruff, who finished the final two innings for the T-Birds, allowing one hit and one run while striking out three.
The T-Birds move to 26-11 overall and 10-10 in conference play. Mesa will have a double-header this coming Saturday at Mesa against the Cochise Apaches, beginning at noon.