Mesa Community College (MCC) faced off against Glendale Community College (GCC), on the Thunderbirds diamond, for the first meeting of the season, which would end in dramatic fashion. Mesa and Glendale split last season’s four meetings, 2-2. The Gauchos stepped into the batters-box and brought in three runs. Gauchos #23 Crenshaw would hit a 2-run homer over the right-field fence. MCC would not let the 3-run Gaucho first phase them. The T-Birds rallied and put three of their own on the scoreboard, then took the lead with a fourth run before they ran out of outs. Marcus Skundrich ended the top of the third by throwing out the base runner stealing second. Skundrich led off by hitting a single to get the T-Birds off to a very productive offensive inning. MCC would put everyone on the line-up to the plate once and bring in 7-runs.
Greg Student took a foul ball off his bat that struck him in the mouth by his nose. Student would not leave the game and end up on base despite the injury. Glendale would make a pitching change, bringing #40 Nick Zappala to the hill. T-Birds would make a pitching change to begin the fifth inning by bringing #15 Richard Walker to the mound. Glendale brought in Chandler Rogers, #38, for the bottom of the fifth. Skundrich would strike out looking to end the fifth inning. Jace DeGrange would replace Student in right field for the start of the sixth inning. According to Rocco Cirelli he came out to get some other guys work on the diamond. Walker had men at first and third with two out. He escaped the sixth inning when the batter popped-out to short, keeping his earned-run average (ERA) intact.
In the sixth, against the T-Birds, Chandler Rodgers would be relieved after walking the first two batters. Nick Rodgers, #35, would step in to face Josh Brown, who would fly-out to center for the first out of the inning. Corey Chaplin would strikeout swinging to end the inning. Walker returned to the mound for the seventh against the Gauchos. He had to keep his composure with the bases loaded. The Gauchos Crenshaw would hit a single to right and bring in two to make it 11-5. Next batter outran the throw to first from SS Corey Chaplin and another Gaucho scored. Walker would not make it thru this inning and #38 Dustin Jordan seize the mound. Paul Steffenson would end the inning by catching a long fly ball to left, ending the 3-run Glendale inning.
DeGrange would walk to begin the T-Bird seventh and #11 singled after replacing Denning in the line-up. Glendale sent #13 Barnes to the mound after #11 single. Glendale would intentionally walk Skundrich to load the bases after Peterson grounded out and advanced the runners. Glendale would walk #9 and bring in another Thunderbird run, bringing the score to 12-6. #22 Jake Denham controls the mound for Mesa to start the eighth and put up a scoreless inning. T-Birds would put another run on the scoreboard in the bottom of the eighth inning.Umpires and coaches agreed to call the game due to darkness after the end of the eighth inning. The Thunderbirds would lose the away game the following day to the Gauchos, 9-6. This would be Mesa’s first loss of the season.
After facing the Gauchos, the Coyotes of Chandler-Gilbert were the next opponent for MCC. T-Birds would fall, 10-6, and had now lost two in a row. The Coyotes put up 6-runs in the third and took away the Thunderbird lead, and commanded the home game the rest of the way. Mesa would begin a 7-game win streak following the two losses. Their streak would end at home, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, to the Gateway Community College Geckos. MCC’s next game is at home against Phoenix College on Tuesday, Feb. 27 and then face Phoenix on their diamond the following day.