LONGMONT -- The Mead baseball team didn't exactly burst out of its scoring funk on Saturday.

But with pitching performances like left-handers Cody Beaver and Griffin Nelson gave, who needs gaudy run production anyway?

Beaver finished a complete game that he started on Monday before it was suspended due to weather, and Nelson threw six solid innings in Game 2. It all added up to a sweep of Skyline -- 2-1 and 4-2 -- for the previously winless Mavericks.

"It's pitching and defense," Beaver said. "Our defense did a great job today. ... Total team effort."

Mead had scored just 17 runs in getting off to a 0-6 start to the season, with just two players sporting batting averages better than .235 for the season.

But Beaver and Nelson needed little run support Saturday.

After allowing a run in the third inning Monday before ferocious wind halted play, Beaver returned to the hill Saturday and was lights out. He faced just 13 batters over the final four innings, allowing three hits and getting a couple of timely double plays by his defense.

Nelson, meanwhile, allowed just two runs over six-plus innings in Saturday's second game, allowing four hits and four walks and striking out six before Tyler Rennison finished the seventh inning for the save.

"We both pitched really well," said Nelson, who noted that Beaver is more a finesse pitcher while his own style is more of a power game.


The two victories proved a relief for the Mavericks (2-6, 2-4 Tri-Valley League), who went 10-9 in Class 3A last season but opened their first spring in 4A this year with a brutal schedule that included conference powers Erie, Windsor and Roosevelt (twice) along with 3A power Eaton.

"Today was a big day for us," Mead coach Jared Parrish said. "We felt pretty good about how we matched up with them. To be able to get two from them and at least get into the conversation of 4A Tri-Valley League baseball, it's nice because it was a tough six-game stretch.

"I'm so proud of the guys."

Beaver and Austin Van Hooker led the way for Mead at the plate.

Van Hooker scored both of Mead's runs in Game 1, including the game-winner in the bottom of the seventh on a ground ball to the right side by Austin Mitchell. Van Hooker also doubled and scored a run in Game 2.

Beaver, meanwhile, singled home Mead's first two runs in Game 2 in the third inning and then singled and scored an insurance run in the seventh.

For Skyline (6-5, 2-5), such timely hits proved tough to come by as they mustered just 10 total in the two games. A pair of chances to take the lead in Game 1 were squandered by base-running miscues.

Mead pitcher Cody Beaver fires toward home plate during one of two Mavericks victories over Skyline on Saturday afternoon.
Mead pitcher Cody Beaver fires toward home plate during one of two Mavericks victories over Skyline on Saturday afternoon. ( LEWIS GEYER )

The Falcons' best shot to do serious damage in Game 2 came in the bottom of the seventh inning as their first three batters reached base to start the frame. But after Tyler Hamby scored on a wild pitch, Rennison worked out of the jam, getting help from another SHS base-running error.

The losses and lack of offense for Skyline overshadowed strong pitching performances by Andrew Stoops in Game 1 and Michael Miller in Game 2.

"Stoops threw great. Michael threw great. We got what we needed on the defensive side of the ball," said SHS coach Mike Hoog, whose team has lost four of five after a 5-0 start. "We didn't go up (to the plate) with the confidence that we were going to square a ball up and put it in play and put pressure on the defense to make plays.

"We've got seven games to figure it out, and we'll figure it out."

Follow Josh on Twitter: @JoshLindenstein

Mead 2-4, Skyline 1-2

At Skyline HS


Skyline 001 000 0 -- 1 6 1

Mead 010 000 1 -- 2 5 1

W -- Beaver. L -- Stoops.

Mead hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) -- Van Hooker 3-2-2-0, Tiano 1-0-0-0, Rennison 3-0-0-0, Couch 1-0-1-1, Mitchell 2-0-0-1, Adler 3-0-1-0, Hains 2-0-0-0, Beaver 3-0-1-0, Leise 3-0-0-0, Nelson 3-0-0-0. Totals 24-2-5-2. 2B -- Van Hooker, Beaver. 3B -- Couch.

Mead pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-k) -- Beaver 7-6-1-0-3-5.


Mead (2-6, 2-4) 002 001 1 -- 4 9 0

Skyline (6-5, 2-5) 000 100 1 -- 2 4 1

W -- Nelson. L -- Miller. S -- Rennison.

Mead hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) -- Adler 4-1-1-0, Beaver 4-1-2-2, Leise 4-0-3-1, Rennison 4-0-0-0, Nelson 2-0-0-0, Van Hooker 4-1-1-0, Mitchell 1-0-0-1, Tiano 3-0-1-0, Pickett 2-1-1-0. Totals 28-4-0-4. 2B -- Adler, Van Hooker.

Skyline hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) -- Stoops 3-0-0-0, Brenneman 3-0-0-0, Reigle 4-0-2-0, Angstead 3-1-1-0, Miller 3-0-0-0, Soriano 2-0-0-1, Hamby 3-1-1-0, Hoog 2-0-0-0, Batrez 1-0-0-0, Banks 0-0-0-0, Forsyth 0-0-0-0. Totals 24-2-4-1.

Mead pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-k) -- Nelson 6-4-2-2-4-6, Rennison 1-0-0-0-0-1. HB -- Nelson, Rennison.

Skyline pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-k) -- Miller 6-7-3-3-1-6, Hamby 1-2-1-1-1-1. HB -- Miller.