GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – The ThunderWolves’ offense was in high-octane overdrive Sunday, putting together 33 hits during the day’s doubleheader with Mesa State. But lackluster pitching, fielding, and late-inning heroics by the Mavericks led to a four-game sweep for Mesa State.
Despite putting together its third-highest run total of the season in the day’s late game, the ThunderWolves held a shaky 13-11 lead going into the bottom of the seventh. Then, for the second time is as many days, the Mavericks put together a late rally to steal a win in dramatic walk-off fashion.
Four singles in the seventh inning moved the Mav runners around the bases, culminating with a bases-loaded single by Alissa Zoelle that scored two and gave Mesa State the win.
The breakdown came just an inning after the Pack seemed to show that they were poised for the win.
After a seven-run fifth inning by Mesa State that gave them an 11-9 lead, the Pack responded with a four-run sixth, headlined by a base-clearing triple by Janine Tyler that scored three runs and gave the lead back to the ThunderWolves. The big inning seemed to overturn the exploits of the Mesa State, which had scored its last nine runs benefiting from five ThunderWolf errors.
The sweep at the hands of the Mavericks put a question mark on a frustrating weekend that saw excellent offensive production get no support from the team’s fielding. For the four games, the Pack out hit the Mavericks .415 to .389, and even pitched better, putting up a 6.91 ERA to Mesa State’s 7.50 ERA. But the back-breaker – the Pack committed 16 errors to just seven by Mesa State, accounting for 15 unearned runs by ThunderWolf pitchers.
In fact, in each game on the weekend, the earned run figures for both teams were tied three times, and in the ThunderWolves’ favor once, during the 14-13 loss.
The four-game sweep ruins the Pack’s drive to ascend to the top of the RMAC West Division standings. The Pack free-fell from one game out of the lead before the series to a full four games behind Mesa State and Adams State, each of which were tied at the top by the day’s end.
The ThunderWolves conclude their eight-game road trip with a 4-4 record, each coming in sweeps. They will return to the friendly confines of Rawlings Field next weekend with a four-game set with Fort Lewis.