Mavs show versatility in latest victory
Joe Tietjen gave up just three hits and one run in five and two-thirds innings to lead Marvin Ridge to a 3-1 victory over Hopewell.
The Mavericks went 3-0 at the East Meck Spring Break Classic, and have now won 10 straight.
The Mavericks scored 25 runs over the first two games of the tournament.
“We won with our bats the first two days and today we got a great pitching performance by Joe,” Mavericks coach Mark Mennitt said. “We played good defense, going back to the things we’ve been doing. I think we swung the bats well today. They made a lot of plays. ... Coming here prepares you for the rest of conference and keeps you ready to go. That’s why we come and hopefully we continue to play well.”
The Mavericks (13-2) got on the board in the top of the first inning when Jacob Henderson led off with a single, then stole second and third base.
When teammate Derek Smith stole second base after a one-out walk, the catcher threw unsuccessfully across the mound and the speedy
Henderson took home easily.
The Mavs added a run in the second when Zach Kuchmaner led off with a single. Two outs later Ben Peterson was hit by a pitch and then Henderson beat out an infield single to load the bases.
Jason Curtis delivered what proved to be the game-winning RBI with a single to left.
Tietjen held the Titans scoreless through the first five innings.
“I just needed to get ahead in the count. When you get ahead it makes a big difference,” Tietjen said. “That’s what I was working for, staying down in the zone. I was hitting with my first pitch curve balls.”
Marvin Ridge added an insurance run in the top of the sixth inning when Zach Kuchmaner scored from third on a wild pitch after moving over from first on Kyle Corgan’s two-out double — his only hit of the game but fourth of the tournament.
Hopewell inched closer when Ivan Acuna took the fourth pitch of the inning high over the left field wall to cut the lead to 3-1, but couldn’t cross the plate again.
Mennitt was happy to see his team get back to its strong defensive play after giving up 10 runs in the first two games of the tournament.
“Defense can be constant, pitching you can throw strikes consistently, the offense is not always going to be there,” Mennitt said. “I’d rather the defense and pitching to be there and know that it’s there. If you can swing the bats on top of it, you have a chance to be special. Putting all three parts together, that is the key bottom line.”
Tietjen played a big role for the Mavs offense when he wasn’t on the mound in the first two games.
Tietjen went 5-for-10 at the plate in the tournament with a home run, double, six RBI and two runs scored.
“Honestly, I give the credit to the coaches,” Tietjen said. “We put a lot of time in the cages. I got out there and was seeing the ball well and hope I can keep seeing the ball well.”
Peterson was efficient in the tournament with a 5-for-7 week that included his first career homer, two RBI and three runs scored.
Kyle Corgan was 4-for-8 in the tourney with a grand slam, a double and five runs.
Max Wotell went 4-for-9 with a home run, double, two RBI and four runs; Henderson was 4-for-10 with three steals and five runs and Smith was 4-for-11 with five RBI, a double and three runs.
Mennitt likes the way his team is looking heading into the last three weeks of the regular season.
“I think we’re healthy, I think we’re focused and I think we’re determined. I like our chances,” Mennitt said. “We have a couple of big series coming up here and we’re going to find out. That’s why you play the game and I’m excited about it. I love our team, we have a good club and have great kids that our focused and have progressed.”
The Mavs return to conference play on Tuesday at home against Porter Ridge in a battle between two undefeated SCC teams.