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The Mavericks win two-of-three from the Apollos and continue towards their goal of a postseason berth.

PMG PHOTO: WADE EVANSON - Mountainside starting pitcher Alex Montgomery hurls a pitch during the Mavericks' game against Sunset Friday afternoon, April 15, at Sunset High School.As a coach, all you can ask of your team is that they give you their best. Mountainside head coach Ryan Fobert said he doesn't have to worry about that with this year's Mavericks, for they always come to play.

"I think what makes this team so special is that they compete every single game," Fobert said. "There is never a doubt in my mind that we are ever out of a game."

Mountainside is 10-2 overall on the season and 5-1 in Metro League play after taking two of three from league foe Sunset this past week.

The Mavericks dropped the first of the three-game set with the Apollos 1-0 April 11, but followed that up with a 5-4-win April 13, and a series-clinching 2-0 victory Friday, April 15. Fobert said the series win was especially satisfying due to dropping the first of the three-game series four days prior.

"Today's win was a big one for us," the Mountainside coach said. "Bouncing back from losing game one of the series to win the next two was a big test of character and resilience as a team."

PMG PHOTO: WADE EVANSON - Sunset sophomore Max Ellerbrook throws a pitch during the Apollos' game against Mountainside Friday afternoon, April 15, at Sunset High School.With the loss, Sunset dropped to 8-5 overall and 2-4 in Metro League play, but Fobert said he had nothing but respect for the Apollos, their coaching staff and their program in the wake of Friday's win.

"I've always looked at Sunset as a program we want to measure ourselves against," he said. "Coach Barnes and his staff do a great job of getting their players ready for each series and every year we've had close, competitive games against them.  This year we just happened to come out on top."

The Mavs were led in their series finale by senior Bowen Stinson who went 2-for-3 with an RBI and run scored, but also by pitchers Alex Montgomery and Austin Wolfe who held the Apollos to just to just two hits while striking out eight and walking three.

Montgomery started the game and pitched a solid five innings. Fobert said that despite a limited amount of opportunities on the mound so far this season, he made the most of his outing Friday afternoon, and succeeded based on his ability to get ahead of hitters and keeping them off balance.

PMG PHOTO: WADE EVANSON - Mountainside's Austin Wolfe takes a swing during the Mavericks' game against Sunset Friday afternoon, April 15, at Sunset High School."Words cannot explain or even begin to express how proud I am of Alex today," Fobert said. "He is the ultimate team player and today he toed the rubber, put the team on his back and carried us."

The coach went on to say that Stinson, along with fellow catcher Ashton Buzan have been key contributors to Mountainside this year, as well as middle infielders Eric Altmark and Andy Miller, and centerfielder Kadin Kingsbury.

Additionally, he pointed to Ian Salbeda's dependability in the middle of the batting order, and Wolfe and sophomore Alex Ingalls' work on the mound as keys to their success.

Fobert said the strength of the Mavericks' team is their defense, with what he described as an exceptional infield and an outfield that's always in position to make a play.

To the contrary, he said that at times they can be impatient at the plate, forcing things rather than letting pitchers and the game come to them.

PMG PHOTO: WADE EVANSON - Sunset's Connor Stone dives back to first base during the Apollos' game against Mountainside Friday afternoon, April 15, at Sunset High School."Sometimes we try to force things at the plate, rather than let the elements of the game dictate how we approach our at bats," he said.

And what does the series win mean to the Mavs in the long-run? That's yet to be determined. But every win puts them closer to their goals, and those goals are set with more than just the team and its players in mind.

"Our goal this year is to compete each game and win every series, and if we can do those things we'll be where we want to be at the end of the regular season," Fobert said. "We would love to make the playoffs and hopefully host a playoff game.  It would be great for our school, team, and community to make the playoffs and host a game."

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