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Mavs capitalize on errors, defeat Davis 7-2

by IAN BIVONA
Sports Reporter | April 17, 2024 2:59 PM

MOSES LAKE — Despite being held to just two hits, the Moses Lake Mavericks capitalized off of five Davis errors to defeat the Pirates 7-1 in Tuesday’s Columbia Basin Big 9 matchup.

The win came after an 11-day layoff between games; Moses Lake’s last outing was a doubleheader against Eastmont on April 5.

“We had a good break to kind of recuperate, and everyone’s energy is high because we haven’t been playing for 11 days,” Moses Lake junior Kason Whitaker said. “Everyone came out wanting to play, so everyone’s tenacity and energy level was up.”

Davis took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, recording four of their seven hits on the day across the top of the second and third innings. Even with having runners on base, the Mavericks limited the Pirates to just one run.

“They had a couple baserunning mistakes that helped us out,” Moses Lake Head Coach Donnie Lindgren said. “We do the same thing (at) different times; it’s unfortunate when it happens to you, and it’s great when it happens for you.”

With two outs on the board in the bottom of the third, Moses Lake tied the game with senior Nolan Betz scoring off of a Davis error. Two at-bats later, the Mavs took the lead when senior Jayce Stuart and junior Jackson Carlos scored off of another Pirate error.

Moses Lake closed out the inning with an RBI single by freshman Jacoby Fulbright to go up 4-1.

“When that pop-up happened at first, I was like, ‘Oh, I’m scoring.’ There’s wind, he might get it, he might not, and I just see Donnie (waving home). When there’s errors like that, you’ve got to prevail on it.”

After giving up four early hits, Whitaker was dialed in on the mound and only surrendered two hits through his final three innings. The junior credited his fellow players on the field for holding the Pirates to one run.

“Just knowing my defense has my back,” Whitaker said. “I got two strikeouts, so of the 18 outs I recorded, (16) of them were my guys back on defense. Knowing they have my back, I can go out there and keep throwing strikes.”

In the bottom of the fifth Stuart scored on another error, Carlos scored on a fielder’s choice and junior Cooper Hancock drove in a run on a sacrifice fly to push the lead to its eventual 7-1 final score.

“That’s our thing: we put pressure on you, and when we do, we’re going to score if you mess up,” Carlos said. “We do the little things right, but can you?”

Even with the week-and-a-half-long layoff between games, Lindgren said the team showed confidence heading into Tuesday’s league contest.

“I think they felt really confident — at least that’s what they showed and the way they acted,” Lindgren said. “It might not have shown in the total number of hits, but in the dugout, our guys were always up and into it.”

Moses Lake heads to Davis on Friday for a doubleheader. With only two more series left on the schedule — against Wenatchee beginning next Tuesday and against West Valley (Yakima) starting April 30 — Lindgren noted the importance of playing well at the end of the regular season.

The Mavs improved to 11-2 overall and 9-1 in the Big 9 with Tuesday’s win.

“Going into the playoff you want to be playing your best baseball, and that’s what we said at the very beginning,” Lindgren said. “We don’t want to peak early, you want to peak at the right time. The last two games we only have two hits, so we definitely haven’t peaked yet, so we’re going to really work on our hitting the next two days and, hopefully, start getting better in that regard.”

Ian Bivona may be reached at ibivona@columbiabasinherald.com.

Box score

DAVS: 0-0-1-0-0-0-0 1
MSLK: 0-0-4-0-3-0-X 7

    Moses Lake freshman Jacoby Fulbright dashes to first base after making contact with a pitch. Fulbright led the Mavs with two RBI in Tuesday’s win.
 
 
    Moses Lake senior Nolan Betz slides across home plate to score Moses Lake’s first run of the game against Davis.
 
 
    Moses Lake junior Kason Whitaker pitches during the top of the sixth inning against Davis on Tuesday.