Mesa, AZ – After dropping a doubleheader to Yavapai this past weekend, the Mesa Community College baseball team (33-12, 18-11 ACCAC) stayed consistent on both sides of the ball on Tuesday afternoon to shut down the South Mountain Community College Cougars (32-13, 18-7 ACCAC) by a score of 3-0 at the Mesa Baseball Complex.
While sophomore Garrett Smith and freshman Marcus Skundrich stole the show on offense with three total doubles and runs batted in, it was the outstanding pitching performance from Chase Merriman that helped shut out the Cougars.
Over seven and a third innings pitched, the sophomore from Gilbert allowed only three hits and zero runs with three total strikeouts for his sixth win of the season.
With Merriman dealing to start the contest, the Thunderbirds offense started off early when Smith roped a two-out double to left center to score both sophomores Kody Funderburk and Esteban Martinez to give Mesa the early 2-0 lead after one inning of play.
Merriman and South Mountain's sophomore pitcher Justin Hammergren combined to throw three strikeouts over the next three innings of play, but in the bottom of the sixth, Smith led the inning off with yet another double and Skundrich drove him home with a single to garner a 3-0 lead.
With one out in the eighth, freshman reliever Jake Suddreth capitalized on a five-out performance to earn his fifteenth save of the season and secure a 3-0 victory over South Mountain.
The Thunderbirds will next be in action on Wednesday afternoon when they head to South Mountain Community College to take on the Cougars for a rematch at 3:00 p.m. MST.