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Woodward Leads Comeback Kids to Regional Championship Game

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Updated: Sat, 17 May 2014 11:58:44 MST

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Conventional wisdom says it's a lot easier to win a game when you don't have to come from behind to do so, but Saturday the Colorado Mesa University (CMU) Mavericks baseball team proved otherwise, with a 9-6 comeback victory over West Texas A&M University at Suplizio Field.

Saturday's win was the third consecutive come-from-behind victory for the Mavs in the NCAA Division II South Central Regional Tournament. Thursday night, CMU came back from an 8-0 deficit to beat New Mexico Highlands University 9-8. Friday CMU rallied again, trailing St. Edwards University 6-3, but winning by a final of 12-8.

CMU jumped out to an early 4-0 lead, but the Buffs got to Mavs starting pitcher Kyle Davis (7-0, 3.48 ERA) in the top of the fifth inning, scoring four runs to tie the game.

In the bottom of the fifth, the Mavericks regained the lead off Nate Robertson's RBI line-drive double that barely stayed fair down the third base line.

Davis returned to the mound in the sixth inning, and got things back on track, retiring the Buffs in order, including back-to-back strikeouts to end the top half of the inning.

The Buffs tied the game up again in the top of the seventh, and David Hebert gave West Texas a 6-5 lead with an RBI single up the middle.

In the bottom of the seventh, Garrett Woodward had a shot at redemption. Earlier in the game, Woodward hit a ball well over the left field wall, but it was foul. Woodward righted the ship in the seventh with a three-run shot, giving the Mavs an 8-6 lead. Sergio Valenzuela would tack on another run in the eight inning after a leadoff triple, scoring on a wild pitch moments later.

CMU won by a final score of 9-6. Tyler Ehlers got the win in relief of Davis, and Trent Allianic picked up the save.

After the game, Davis talked about Woodward's home run and the fight this team has shown throughout the tournament.

"It was huge. I actually gave Garrett the home run sign. I don't know if you saw it or not. That was huge, and like I said, you always have confidence, and especially after the last two games we've had. We've been coming back in late innings. So that's helping the confidence boost right there, too", said Davis.

The top-seed Mavericks move on to the South Central Regional Championship game undefeated. They'll face Texas A&M Kingsville University. The Javelinas beat West Texas A&M Saturday night, eliminating the Buffs.

The championship game starts at 12:00 P.M. Sunday. The Mavs are one win away from their 2nd berth to the Division II College World Series. Their only other appearance in the CWS came in 2009.

Since the Regional Tournament is a double elimination format, the Mavs would have to lose twice to be eliminated.

If the Javelinas win the first game, there will be a rematch Sunday afternoon at 3:30 PM.

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