The Erie and Mead baseball teams split a doubleheader at Mead Saturday afternoon on the final day of the regular season. With a win in game two, Mead qualified for the playoffs for the first time in program history.
"It's taken a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to get here, but these boys committed to the process. They bought in. It's night and day from last year," said Mead head coach Randy Click.
In game one, Erie won a pitcher's duel, with John Thoren and Austin Klingenmeier able to hold the Mavericks to one run on three hits in a 2-1 win.
In game two, Brady Carstens led the Mavericks to a 6-2 victory, throwing a complete game on the mound and allowing just two unearned runs while also driving in two runs at the plate.
"He was dominant," Click said. "For him to go out there in his last home game and maintain composure was phenomenal. It's something he's been building towards for a long time. He finished the year as probably the number one pitcher in 4A."
Carstens gave himself some run support early. With two out in the bottom of the first inning, Benjamin Borrego blooped a single into right center, stole second, then came around to score when Carstens pulled a single through the left side. Carstens then scored on a single by Brady Veltien.
Mead scored two more runs in the bottom of the second. Ryan McDaniel led off the inning with a single and Greyson Young reached on a bunt. Borrego then lined a double to leftfield to score them both.
The Mavericks capped their scoring with two more runs in the bottom of the fifth, as Brett Boaz reached on an infield single, stole second, and came around to score on a single to right by Carstens. After Veltien walked and a wild pitch, Tyler Derrington hit an RBI groundout to second base to score Carstens.
Erie struck for two runs in the sixth as Kyle Couper scored on a throwing error by Carstens and Klingenmeier lined an RBI single to left, but Carstens was able to limit the damage.
Looking ahead to the playoffs, the Mavericks are confident that they have what it takes to make a deep run.
"We just need to play our game. I think we can beat anyone if we play our best," Borrego said.
Erie, meanwhile, is 13th in the RPI and will be looking to get back on track.
The playoff brackets will be released early next week.
Christoph Ludwig: 303-473-1313, firstname.lastname@example.org
Erie 2, Mead 1
Mead000 000 1 — 1 3 2
Erie100 100 x — 2 5 2
W — Erie Thoren. L — Hale.
Mead hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Derrington 3-0-0-0, Veltien 3-0-0-0, Young 2-1-0-0, Borrego 2-0-1-0, Hale 2-0-0-1, Leise 2-0-1-0, Carstens 3-0-0-0, McDaniel 2-0-0-0, Boaz 3-0-1-0.
Erie hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Phillips 3-1-1-0, Havener 3-0-1-0, Mendoza 3-0-0-0, Rees 2-0-0-1, Thoren 0-0-0-0, Klingenmeier 3-1-1-0, Rogers 3-0-1-0, Kelly 0-0-0-0, Fuhrmann 3-0-0-0, Ball 2-0-1-0, Couper 2-0-0-0. 2B — Phillips, Rogers. SB —Fuhrmann, Havener.
Mead pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Hale 6-5-2-1-1-10.
Erie pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Thoren 6.2-3-1-1-4-4, Klingenmeier 0.1-0-0-0-0-0.
Mead 6, Erie 2
Erie000 002 0 — 2 7 0
Mead220 020 x — 6 7 1
W — Mead Carstens. L — Leach.
Erie hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Phillips 4-1-1-0, Havener 3-0-0-0, Mendoza 2-0-0-0, Wilson 1-0-0-0, Klingenmeier 3-0-2-1, Rees 3-0-0-0, Rogers 3-0-2-0, Thoren 2-0-1-0, Moore 1-0-0-0, Ball 1-0-0-0, Kelly 2-0-0-0, Couper 3-1-1-0.
Mead hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Young 4-1-0-0, Boaz 4-1-1-0, Borrego 3-1-2-2, Carstens 3-2-2-2, Veltien 2-0-1-1, Derrington 2-0-0-1, Leise 3-0-0-0, Hale 2-0-0-0, McDaniel 3-1-1-0. 2B — Borrego. SB — Borrego, Boaz.
Erie pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Leach 4.1-7-6-5-2-2, Klingenmeier 1.1-0-0-0-0-1, Rearick 0.1-0-0-0-0-0.
Mead pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Carstens 7-7-2-0-0-10.