Grivette’s Solid Outing fuels Thunderbirds’ late inning defeat of Gateway, 6-2

Marcus Skundrich singled in Mesa's go-ahead run in the eighth inning to help the T-Birds beat Gateway Wednesday afternoon. (photo by Aaron Webster)
Marcus Skundrich singled in Mesa's go-ahead run in the eighth inning to help the T-Birds beat Gateway Wednesday afternoon. (photo by Aaron Webster)

Mesa, AZ – After dropping a heartbreaker at Gateway just one day prior, the Mesa Community College baseball team (36-14, 21-13 ACCAC) used some late inning magic to earn some revenge from yesterday and take down the GateWay Community College Geckos (19-27, 13-21 ACCAC) by a score of 6-2 on Wednesday afternoon in Mesa.  

With the help of sophomore Riley Grivette's six strikeouts and only two earned runs allowed over five and one third innings pitched, the Thunderbird offense exploded in the final innings behind multi-hit performances from freshman Marcus Skundrich and sophomore Kody Funderburk to secure a late inning victory over the Geckos.  

Mesa got off to a hot start right out of the gate as sophomores Esteban Martinez and Garrett Smith plated a pair of runs to take an early 2-0 lead after one inning of play.  

The Geckos countered in the second when sophomore Tommy Martinez ripped an RBI single out to leftfield to score fellow sophomore Marcus Ybarra and cut the GateWay deficit down to 2-1.  

Outside of a run that was walked in during the sixth, Mesa's Grivette and GateWay's sophomore Matt Blandeburgo combined to strikeout 12 total batters and allow only four runs over more than 12 innings pitched. Their outstanding outings left the game tied at 2-2 heading into the eighth inning.  

Thanks to the excellent relief work from freshman Jake Suddreth in the seventh and eighth, the Thunderbirds offense went to work in the home half of the eighth when Skundrich laced a tie-breaking RBI single over GateWay's second baseman Damon Devirgilio to take a 3-2 lead. Crockett and freshman Cameron Cruz tacked on RBI's of their own to help Mesa take a 6-2 lead heading into the ninth inning.  

With back-to- back strikeouts to end the game, Suddreth earned his third win of the season as the Thunderbirds finalized their comeback win over the Geckos with a 6-2 victory.  

The Thunderbirds will be back in action this Friday afternoon when the Paradise Valley Community College Pumas come to the Mesa Baseball Complex for a 3:00 p.m. MST scheduled first pitch.

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