It began and ended with Owen Marsh.
The Mullen senior started on the mound and scored the game-clincher at Bill Swift Field.
The above and in between added to a 12-2 victory in six innings over Fairview for the Mustangs on Thursday in Class 5A nonleague.
Ranked No. 6 in 5A, Mullen moved to 5-1 and beat the program that ended its season in a 2021 regional final.
“It wasn’t the prettiest,” head coach Phil Stanford said, “but a win.”
Marsh, a righthander, earned the pitching victory despite trouble locating the strike zone. He labored through 75 pitches and gave up six walks, but struck out five and permitted only three hits and two runs.
“I don’t know,” Marsh said. “I just didn’t feel it today, I guess you could say … I just felt off. It happens.”
Another Mustangs righthander, Henry Shellhorn, handled the final three innings and had his control problems, too – he walked six. But they were the only base runners he allowed with no hits and striking out eight.
It was his first outing since opening day.
“We need to be more efficient and smarter in the pitch selection,” Stanford said. “We need to stay ahead in the count and not get too cute. It happens. They were able to get out of the innings. But we have to be able to read the hitters, own it and pick our spots.”
In addition, Stanford was able to substitute freely as ”we played a lot of kids and a lot of kids got some reps.”
Offensively, Mullen went for 13 hits, including back-to-back triples by Sage Hurley and Ben Krza, and a double by Henry Stewart. Colin MacKenzie was 3-for-3 and Marsh scored three times in addition to going 2-for-2.
The Mustangs will host Legacy on Saturday, 11 a.m., their final nonleague matchup before beginning Centennial League play on Tuesday at home against Grandview.
“It’s going to be good,” Marsh said.
MULLEN 12, FAIRVIEW 2, 6 inn.
Fairview 101 000 -- 2
Mullen 314 112 -- 12
Mullen – Hurley 3-1-1-0, Riley-Combs 0-1-0-0, A. Brady 2-2-0-0, Trujillo 1-1-1-0, Krza 2-0-1-1, H. Stewart 4-0-2-1, Paz 2-0-0-0, Krieger 1-0-0-0, Shellhorn 1-1-0-0, Jackson 2-0-1-2, MacKenzie 3-2-3-0, Moore 1-0-1-1, Marsh 2-3-2-1, R. Brady 2-0-1-1, T. Stewart 3-0-0-0, Gamueda 2-0-0-0. Totals 36-12-13-9.
DP – 1. LOB – 5. SB – Trujillo 2, A. Brady, H. Stewart. BB – Marsh 2, MacKenzie, Shellhorn, A. Brady. HBP – Hurley. 2B – H. Stewart. 3B – Hurley, Krza.
Pitching – Marsh (W) 3 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 6 BB, 5 K; Shellhorn 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 5 BB, 8 K.
In Englewood, the Mustangs opened their season with a second-place finish in the first Centennial League match and having the Nos. 2 and 3 individual finishers.
Mullen totaled 337 strokes to Cherry Creek’s 324 in the team chase.
Junior Kaitlin Zingler shot 3-over-par 75 to finish runner-up behind Cherry Creek’s Kaylee Chen, who shot a 3-under 69. Zingler had a birdie on each side.
Senior Sofia Choi was one stroke back of Zingler at 76, going 36-40 with one birdie.
Sammy Yates (91), Riley Sullivan (95), Hannah Giacomin (105) and Jane Gray (108) rounded out the Mullen scoring.
CENTENNIAL LEAGUE NO. 1
At Broken Tee G.C.
Team scores – Cherry Creek 324, Mullen 337, Cherokee Trail 339, Arapahoe 371, Grandview 380, Eaglecrest 425.
Mullen finishers – 2. Kaitlin Zingler 75, 3. Sofia Choi 76; 16. Sammy Yates 91; 22. (tie) Riley Sullivan 95; 31. (ie) Hannah Giacomin 105; 35. Jane Gray 108.