There must have been something in the air in week nine. Well, the science behind air resistance probably says there was less, but regardless, there was something special at Volcanoes Stadium where three grand slams were hit in the week.
There had only been two grand slams hit in the first eight weeks of the Mavericks League season.
Jeff Disla kicked off the slam party in the ninth inning of the opening game of week nine on Thursday, July 7. It was Disla’s first home run of the season, but it came in an 11-8 loss for Disla and the Senators.
The other two grand slams came with better results.
Jose Villa broke a 2-0 game open in the second inning on Friday. Villa’s grand slam making it 6-0 would have been enough, but the Volcanoes added a bit of insurance in the 17-4 win.
Just like Villa’s the day before, Mitchell Austin’s broke the game open for the Mavericks on Saturday. But Austin’s came much later in the game. In the eighth inning, Austin put the Mavericks up 8-3 in an eventual 11-5 win.
For Disla and Austin it was their first home runs of the season. It was Villa’s third, and he added number four later in the series on Saturday.
Mavericks sweep Senators, sit in first place
You might not be able to tell from the scoreboard, but Thursday night’s 11-8 Mavericks win over the Senators was a pitchers’ duel through 6.5 innings.
Heading into the bottom of the seventh it was a 2-2 game and Senators starting pitcher Chase Jessee had allowed just one hit. By the end of the inning it was 7-2.
The Mavericks added four more in the eighth to make it 11-2. The Senators scored six in the ninth, including a Jeff Disla grand slam, but it was too little too late.
Saturday was a similar story in the second game of the series. Again things were close late, the Mavericks led 4-3 heading into the bottom half of the eighth inning where they broke the game wide open.
They scored seven runs in the inning, including a grand slam from Mitchell Austin in an eventual 11-5 win.
The Mavericks finished off the series sweep with a 6-2 win in the series finale on Sunday, only trailing for one total inning in the entire series. Both times the Senators took leads in week nine the Mavericks responded in the bottom of the inning either tying or taking the lead.
The sweep keeps the Mavericks in first place at 15-11, despite having a run differential of -13.
Meanwhile the Senators fall below .500 at 12-13, but have scored 19 more runs than their opponents.
Volcanoes offense cools by Sunday
Sometimes you really wish you could bank runs from a blowout win. The Volcanoes might have had those thoughts by the end of the weekend.
Things started out great for the Volcanoes offensively. On Friday, in the first game of the series, they blew out the Campesinos 17-4. Jose Villa had six RBIs including a grand slam.
On Saturday, the Volcanoes bats weren’t quite as explosive, but they did enough. Villa homered again, and the Volcanoes won 5-4.
By Sunday the Volcanoes offense had gone dormant. They could only string together multiple hits in an inning once as the Campesinos gained a measure of revenge and avoided the sweep with a 9-1 win.
Campesinos starter Liam Rosebeck held the Volcanoes in check, striking out seven in eight innings. Rosebeck appeared to be pumped up for the game as he shouted “Let’s go” multiple times, and jawed with the Volcanoes early in the game.
The Volcanoes are the first team to score 200 runs this season, and sit a game behind the Mavericks at 13-11.
The Campesinos on the other hand are still in the cellar, but only 4.5 games out of first. They’re still just a good week away from being right back in the thick of the race.