MESA, AZ - Trying to pull off yet another late inning rally, Mesa fell just short in a 4-3 loss to Paradise Valley Friday.
The loss leaves MCC (345-14, 22-13) four games behind the Pumas (34-12, 26-9) with five to play in the race for the No. 1 seed in the Region I Tournament. The T-Birds still hold a three and a half game margin over Phoenix for the No. 2 slot, which would earn them a playoff semi-final home berth.
The game sailed along through the first four innings with a total of just four hits.
But PVCC put four on the board in the fifth and still seemed in control entering the bottom of the seventh inning. Starting pitcher Noel Rodriguez faced the minimum 18 batters for the first six innings, with both of MCC's base runners erased on double plays.
Mesa, however, reached Rodriguez for three in the seventh, jumping right back into the contest.
Jordan Zimmerman (So., Mesa, AZ/Red Mountain H.S.) drove in Lawrence and Brady Bate (Fr., Spanish Fork, Utah/Spanish Fork H.S.) knocked two in with a single. That raised his total to 43, tying him for 16th in the nation.
Rodriguez limited the damage, getting the next two outs, leaving the T-Birds one short.
The two teams will meet again Saturday at Paradise Valley at noon.