AURORA -- It got away from them early and they couldn’t recover.
Mullen’s 8-3 road loss at Regis Jesuit on Thursday came with the additional sting that all setbacks to parochial rivals usually do, but this one also occurred in the exact opposite manner first-year head coach Phil Stanford had hoped for against a good-and-talented foe.
“Absolutely, (the Raiders) jumped out and put some runs up early and they executed the game plan we wanted, which was to punch them in the nose and see what happened,” Stanford said.
In dropping to 3-1, the Mustangs, ranked No. 6 in Class 5A, grabbed a 1-0 first-inning lead only to have the No. 2 Raiders, in their season debut, pull away to 8-1 after three.
Regis Jesuit got to Mullen starter Trevor Moore early and often, plating eight runs one out into the bottom of the third. The Raiders ripped three home runs and a double among their eight hits during the surge and took advantage of constant breeze that seemed to aid any ball hit in the air to the right of second base.
Plus, Mullen had rally-killers in three of their final four at-bats through a couple of runners caught stealing and a soft line drive that resulted in a double play.
“(They Raiders) are always a great team with a ton of depth and we knew they would hit the ball,” Stanford said. “We made some mistakes with our approaches. We have to learn about the situations we’re in and how to scratch out runs, move some guys over and get a run, and we didn’t do it.”
Owen Marsh came on in relief and pitched scoreless ball the rest of the way. Offensively, shortstop Andrew Brady and Moore hit back-to-back homers in the sixth, Moore’s a no-doubter into the left field wind. Moore also doubled twice. Brady had a first-inning single and scored on the first of Moore’s two-baggers.
Sage Hurley added a single as did Henry Stewart.
“The big part here,” Stanford said, “is what did we learn from this?”
Next for Mullen is a trip to Fort Collins on Saturday against Fossil Ridge, first pitch at 11 a.m.
REGIS JESUIT 8, MULLEN 3
Mullen 100 002 0 -- 3 7 1
Regis Jesuit 323 000 x -- 8 9 1
Mullen -- Hurley 2b 4-0-1-0, H. Stewart cf 3-0-1-0, A. Brady ss 4-2-2-1, Moore p-1b 3-1-3-2. March 1b-p 2-0-0-0, Jackson cr 0-0-0-0, MacKenzie lf 1-0-0-0, Krza c 3-0-0-0, T. Stewart 3b 3-0-0-0, Gamueda rf 3-0-0-0. Totals 26-3-7-3.
Regis Jesuit – O’Connor 2b 4-1-1-0, Macias ss 3-1-2-3, Wachsmann rf 2-1-1-1, Rogan 1b 3-0-1-0, Martin cr 0-0-0-0, McHugh 3b 3-1-1-1, Bell dh 3-1-2-1, Gonzalez lf 2-0-0-1, Hutchens cf 2-1-1-1, Lewis ph 1-0-0-0, Gerig p 0-0-0-0, Lopez p 0-0-0-0. Totals 25-8-9-8.
E – H. Stewart, Rogan. DP – Regis Jesuit. SAC – Gonzalez. SB – A. Brady. CS – Wachsmann, MacKenzie, Gamueda. LOB – Mullen 6, Regis Jesuit 2.
2B – Moore 2, Bell, Rogan. HR – Macias, 1 on in 1st; Wachsmann, solo in 1st; McHugh, solo in 3rd; A. Brady, solo in 6th; Moore, solo in 6th.
Pitching – Mullen, Moore (L) 2.1 IP, 8 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 1 BB, 2 K; Marsh 3.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K; Regis Jesuit, Gerig (W) 5.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 K; Lopez 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K. WP – Moore, Gerig, Marsh. T – 2:01.
The Mustangs, in their home opener, downed Chaparral 10-8 in nonleague.
Mullen used seven goals in the second half to even its mark at 1-1.
“Our attack was much smoother than last game, but we still have a lot of kinks to work out,” head coach Melynda Brown said. “We need to shoot more and attack the cage.”
Brown credited goalie Maggie Martinez, a sophomore “who kept us in the game multiple times.”
Offensively, Charlie Beck and Jordan Weber each scored three goals. Haley Vanek and J.J. Johnson each scored twice.
Brown also cited her team’s “transition defense (that) was so much better tonight and gave us the opportunity to gain back possession before the ball went into the defensive side.”
MULLEN 10, CHAPARRAL 8
Chaparral 5 3 -- 8
Mullen 3 7 -- 10
Mullen goals – Charlie Beck 3, Jordan Weber 3, Haley Vanek 2, J.J. Johnson 2.
Mullen assists – J. J. Johnson 2, Hannah Aquino, Jordan Weber.
Mullen saves – Maggie Martinez 13.
The Mustangs leveled their record at 1-1 with a 2-1 home decision of Denver South in nonleague.
MULLEN 2, DENVER SOUTH 1
Denver South 0 1 -- 1
Mullen 1 1 -- 2