Mesa Red Mountain is one game closer to the 5A East Valley Region baseball championship. The Mountain Lions inched closer to the title Tuesday with a 6-0 victory over visiting Mesa Dobson.
Red Mountain (11-12, 7-0) got a brilliant pitching performance from junior Mark Hawkenson. The right-hander allowed just three hits (one in the first, two in the seventh) as he improved to 4-2 on the season.
“Everything has been clicking for us lately,’’ Hawkenson said. “Guys have been playing good defense and everyone is playing together.’’
The only trouble Hawkenson got into was in the first, but it was erased by an inning-ending double play. In the seventh, the first two Mustangs reached base with hits, but Hawkenson retired the next three batters.
“He’s been more consistent and has a better command of his breaking ball,’’ Red Mountain coach Henry Faccio said.
Dobson starter Scott McGaughy held the Lions in check until the fourth inning when Hawkenson hit a two-out home run, his fourth of the year, over the center-field fence.
Red Mountain added two more runs in the fifth, with the second coming when Mickey Caldwell scored on a Dean Espy single.
The Lions got to McGaughy again in the sixth, scoring three times on four hits. Jim Sanchez and Mark Jarrett had back-to-back doubles to score runs in the inning.
The Lions have been perfect in the league after starting the season with 11 losses in their first 14 games.
“The beginning of the season we were a little bit rough,’’ Hawkenson said.
Red Mountain went into the game ranked No. 14 in power points and need to close out the league season strong to make the playoffs.
“With the power points every game is important,’’ Faccio said.