T-Birds Can't Preserve Five Run Lead, Fall to Bears in Regional Championship, 7-5

T-Birds Can't Preserve Five Run Lead, Fall to Bears in Regional Championship, 7-5

Mesa, AZ - The Mesa Thunderbirds fell to the Phoenix College Bears Friday afternoon, 7-5, with the Bears clinching the Region I - ACCAC DII Championship title.

The Thunderbirds jumped out to a 5-0 advantage but in the sixth inning, the Bears hit a three run homer to cut it to a 5-3 game.  In the eighth, PC pushed four more runs across the board.

Esteban Martinez singled in Cameron Cruz, who reached on a double to lead off the first inning for Mesa.  Then Marcus Skundrich singled home Garrett Smith in the third inning which turned into a three run inning as Josh Brown doubled home Jace DeGrange and Kelby Richardson to make it a 4-0 game.

Brown would connect on a solo homer in the fifth inning and Mesa seemed to be sailing to a third and final game.   

Nick Bonniksen pitched a solid game on the mound for Mesa, going seven innings, allowing five hits and striking out seven.  But the big shot in the sixth was just the beginning of Mesa's troubles down the stretch.

Jake Suddreth struck out the first batter in relief but hit the next two batters then allowed a single.  After another strike out, a costly Mesa error allowed another run to score.

Mesa finishes the season with a 43-18 record.

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