Matthew Jonas / Staff Photographer
Matthew Jonas / Staff Photographer
MEAD — Gunner Pickett was determined to deliver a victory for his Mead teammates Saturday, one way or another.
For the longest time it looked like it would be through a dominant performance on the mound, but after visiting Skyline scratched out four runs in the top of the seventh inning off of him to even things up, Pickett had to do it at the plate.
Pickett’s two-out walk-off RBI double in the bottom of the seventh lifted the Mavericks to a 6-5 win over the scrappy Falcons, giving Mead it’s first Tri-Valley League win of the season.
“Our energy in the dugout was awesome that last inning, even throughout the game,” said Pickett, a senior left-hander. “In the last inning, when those guys really kind of get everyone going, it helped me get a little hit there at the end.”
After Skyline (2-5 overall, 0-3 in league) tied things up with an improbable four-run rally in the top of the seventh, the Mavericks (2-5, 1-2) were one out away from watching what seemed like a sure victory head into extra innings.
But Easton Adler hit a sharp single back up the middle to set the stage for Pickett, who hammered a double to the wall in the deepest part of the ball park.
“I was proud of the guys, the way they came back and got that run in the bottom of the inning,” Mead coach Greg Brock said. “It’s fun now. Now we have games and we can build some kind of momentum.”
It didn’t look like the Mavericks would need any late inning heroics the way Pickett was dealing on the mound through the first six innings. Constantly working from ahead in the count, Pickett limited the Falcons to one run on five hits heading into the seventh frame.
Chris Seger started Skyline’s rally with a triple to right, and then scored on Nate Higgins’ RBI single.
After Pickett picked up the second out of the inning with his seventh strikeout of the game, nine-hole hitter Alex Schernecke hit a sharp single to left. Daniel Terao followed with an RBI single to right that was misplayed, allowing a second run to score that cut the deficit to 5-4.
Terao moved to third on the play when the relay throw went to home, then scored the tying run on a wild pitch.
“We’re real young, real inexperienced, but we’ve been taking some good leaps forward staying in ballgames,” Falcons coach Travis Schlagel said. “Being a good teammate is step one, and I think we made a big jump forward today, going through with that (comeback), having each other’s backs and fighting for seven straight innings.”
Skyline received a solid game from Higgins on the mound in a losing effort, as he scattered six hits and struck out four while only surrendering two runs through the first five innings. But Mead was able to put three on the board in the bottom of the sixth, with the big hit being a two-run double from Riley Glynn.
“He pitched a great game,” Schlagel said about Higgins. “He got ground balls when we needed them. We’ve just got to clean up those few errors that we had. But that stuff is expected when you have a young team.
“We’re working, we’re getting there and we took a big step today. I’m excited for it.”
Glynn went 3 for 3 with three RBI while Pickett finished 3 for 4 with two runs scored and a pair of RBI. Adler also was 3 for 4 with two runs scored and drove in a run.
Schernecke and Avery Riddoch each finished with a pair of hits to pace the Falcons.
The two teams square off again on Monday at Skyline.
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Mead 6, Skyline 6
At Mead High School
000 100 4 — 5 9 1
100 103 1 — 6 12 1
W — MeadPickett. L — SkylineHiggins.
Skyline hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Terao 4-1-1-0, Zietlow 4-0-1-0, Hamby 3-1-1-0, Alexander 2-0-0-0, Riddoch 3-0-2-1, Seger 3-1-1-0, Higgins 3-1-1-1, Blick 2-0-0-0, Schernecke 3-1-2-0. 2B —Hamby. 3B —Seger. SB —Schernecke, Hamby.
Mead hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Ward 3-0-1-0, Regan 4-1-1-0, Adler 4-2-3-0, Pickett 4-2-3-2, Je. Skrine 1-0-0-0, Ja. Skrine 1-1-0-0, Glynn 3-0-3-3, T. Levin 3-0-0-0, L. Levine 3-0-1-0, Martensen 3-0-0-0. 2B — Adler, Pickett, Glynn. SB —Adler.
Skyline pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Higgins 6 2/3-12-6-2-1-4.
Mead pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Pickett 7-9-5-4-1-7.