Mesa, AZ - With a win Tuesday afternoon, the #7 Mesa Thunderbirds are one victory away from claiming the #1 seed in the ACCAC DII Tournament which begins next Thursday, March 3rd.
The T-Birds used a big 5th, 6th and 8th innings offensively to take down the Artichokes, 13-3, in eight innings. Mesa scored three in the 5th to tie the game at three then put a crooked seven spot on the board in the 6th inning to take a commanding 9-3 advantage at that point.
It was then a Paul Steffensen triple, his 10th of the season which leads the NJCAA, with runners on first and second that solidified the run-rule victory. Steffensen would score on the play because of a Scottsdale throwing error to third.
On the day, that was Steffensen's only hit but he did knock in four RBI's on the afternoon, hitting a sacrifice fly in the 6th inning. Connor Denning went 2-4 with two doubles and three RBI's while Jace DeGrange went 2-3 with a triple. Luke Patty also had two hits on the day.
Cameron Doherty walks away with his fifth win of the season, pitching seven innings, allowing six hits, striking out two while allowing three runs. Tyler Hilton finished the eighth inning for the T-Birds, allowing just one hit and no runs.
The T-Birds push their record to 39-14 with a 23-14 ACCAC record. Mesa and Scottsdale will be right back in action tomorrow afternoon at Scottsdale with a 3 pm first pitch start.