Mill Valley claims slugfest over arch rival Wildcats
In a game that Mill Valley desperately needed to win, the Jags pulled out a 13-9 victory over arch rival De Soto in Tuesday's regular season finale.
Mill Valley coach Carl Garrett said he was happy with the win, but only because it went in the right column in the standings. The Jaguars committed five errors in the game and continued to play poor defense, creating concern for Garrett.
"We booted the ball around again," Garrett said. "I think we had five errors, and I don't consider that a quality win. But as a coach, you'll take a win any way you can get it."
Sam Bevan took the win on the mound for the Jaguars, as he entered the game in the fifth inning with Mill Valley trailing by a run, 9-8. Bevan shut down the Wildcats for the rest of the game and gave his teammates a chance to get their offense going. It was his fifth win of the season.
The Mill Valley offense finally got going in the fourth inning when Blake Hardwick and Andy Marquez each hit three-run home runs.
Marquez's dinger came when Mill Valley trailed 7-2. Garrett said it couldn't have come at a better time.
"That was a really big hit for us," Garrett said. "When you're down 7-2 in the middle of the game you have to get something going, and Andy's home run was just what we needed."
Hardwick's shot was his seventh of the season. It put the Jags back in the game.
The win ended a rough stretch for Mill Valley. After upsetting then No. 1-ranked Basehor-Linwood two weeks ago, the Jags dropped three in a row. Two losses to Santa Fe Trail and another to Perry made up the Mill Valley skid, but Garrett said he felt good about the momentum the team took from its latest victory.
"Hopefully this win will give us something to build on," Garrett said. "We're banged up right now, but if we put our minds to it, we know we can compete with anybody."
The Jags next action will come at 7:30 p.m Monday. As the No. 5 seed in its regional, Mill Valley will take on fourth-seeded Piper in the first round. The last time the Jags faced Piper they were thumped.
"We've still got a bad taste in our mouths from what Piper did to us last time," Garrett said. "We played poorly last time, and we paid for it. Hopefully, this time we'll give it a better effort.
"The glory of winning 12 games is that we get the five seed and open against Piper. It doesn't make much sense, but that's what we've got to deal with, and I think if we focus we can make a run."