Mavs, Warriors playing for tourney title
Marvin Ridge High's baseball team defeated Parkwood 8-2 Friday night to advance to the Southern Carolina Conference championship, and coach Mark Mennitt knows his team will have to play better to capture the tournament title tonight.
The Mavericks (22-3) scored three runs in each of the third and fourth innings to blow the game open against the Rebels (6-18).
Mennitt pointed to his team's four errors and mere five hits as disappointing.
"It's a good win and we achieved our goal of making it to the finals but you know what, we didn't play our best baseball today," said Mennitt. "I'm frustrated by a few things and we're going to work them out. Our team understands why I'm frustrated but it's OK. I can't be happy all the time."
Mennitt is happy his team repeated as regular-season champions of the league, and looks forward to a chance to defend the SCC tournament title in Monday's final against Weddington.
The Mavericks took advantage of seven Parkwood errors.
The Rebels took the lead out of the gate when Zach Farmer scored on the second Maverick error of the first inning.
Jacob Henderson evened the score when he reached on an error in the first at-bat in the bottom of the fourth and scored during a run down between first and second involving Jason Curtis who had singled.
Parkwood couldn't take advantage of a bases-loaded opportunity in the second.
The Mavs capitalized in the third when Curtis led off with a walk, followed by an RBI double from Derek Smith. One out later Joe Tietjen reached on a walk before starting pitcher Zach Kuchmaner drove in both Smith and Tietjen with a single up the middle for a 4-1 lead.
The Rebels cut the lead down to two when Scout McFalls reached on an error to lead off the fourth followed by a single by Jess Gainey.
McFalls would score on the second error of the inning by the Mavericks.
The Mavericks ran Farmer off the mound in the fourth after he gave up two straight walks and hit a batter.
Henderson and Curtis scored on throwing errors as they were running the bases.
"I think we spun off a lot of balls," Mennitt said. "I think we got away from what we want to do and work back into the middle of the field. We didn't score enough runs.
"We ran the bases well, I will say that. The bottom line is we have to put every facet together. If we want to achieve some of the goals we're talking about, then we're going to have to put all the parts together."
Derek Smith scored the third and final run of the inning on Max Wotell's single..
Vic Kuchmaner added the final run in the fifth on yet another Parkwood error.
Mennitt hopes the Mavs can knock the rust off before Monday's title game.
"Some of it you chalk up to us not playing in a week," he said. "I'm not going to make any excuses. This is when you need to be playing your best baseball. I think we'll put our best foot forward next week. This is a short season, too, the conference tournamen. Season three is the one I'm more worried about, which starts next Friday in the playoffs."
The Mavericks are facing archrival Weddington for the fourth time this year.
Marvin Ridge took two of three from the Warriors a week ago, but WHS ended the Mavs' 18-game winning streak (2-1) in the regular-season finale.
"Obviously we want to win the game," Mennitt said. "Weddington wants to win the game, but above all we both want to be protected for Friday. Our pitchers are going to be on a pitch count. I'm sure their pitchers will be on a pitch count where we're going to have the whole staff available for Friday.
"It'll be a different kind of game in my estimation. Now I can promise you we're both going to try to win the game but we have to be smart about how we approach Monday's game."