TWIN FALLS, Idaho – The top two baseball teams in the west duked it out Saturday afternoon in the West District Finals, and nine innings wasn’t enough. Arizona Western College (49-16) lost to the College of Southern Idaho (50-10) 4-3 in 11 innings. A couple of close plays hurt the Mats in a game where every baserunner proved invaluable, and CSI stayed unbeaten at home this season.
CSI’s Travis Bohall came through in the late innings to lift his team to the win. In the ninth, his solo homer with two outs tied the game 3-3. It was the third home run for Bohall this season.
Bohall provided the RBI walk-off winner in the bottom of the 11th, again with two outs. After Shawn Grandmont walked to start the inning, Ryan Nolan bunted for a single to put two on with no outs. Brett Resch popped up in foul territory, but AWC second baseman Snaider Torrealba ran into the first base umpire while trying to track it down. AWC head coach Drew Keehn went out to protest and was ultimately tossed from the game. After everything settled down, Resch struck out swinging on a nice pitch from Zach Hansen. Hansen struck out Hayden Foltz for the second out, but Bohall lined a single to center to score Grandmont from second and end the game.
In the fourth inning, the Mats started to rally after both sides were scoreless through three innings. Spencer Packard led off with a single, but he was out when Manny Perez smacked a ground ball off his ankle on what would have been a single to right field. Perez then was picked off at first on a back-pick where he appeared safe. Keehn protested with the first base umpire to no avail. With two outs, Justin Greene stepped up and launched a home run to left-center field for a 1-0 lead. It was his 12th homer of the season and second in as many games.
CSI answered in the bottom of the inning. With one on and one out, Grandmont smashed a pitch over the centerfield wall to take a 2-1 lead. It was his sixth homer of the season.
Neither side had much success after that as the two starting pitchers worked into the seventh inning and pitched well.
In the eighth, the Mats took the lead. Zach Huffins drew a lead-off walk and stole second. A throwing error sent him to third on the play, and Sean Roby singled up the middle to tie the game at two. Roby aggressively took third when Spencer Packard sliced a single through the left side of the infield, and he scored when Manny Perez blooped a double to shallow right-center for a 3-2 lead.
Hansen (6-2) took the loss for the Mats after coming on in relief in the 10th inning. He allowed one run on two hits while walking one and striking out three in 1.1 innings. Ramon Miranda was masterful to start the game for AWC. The freshman from San Luis gave up two runs on six hits with three walks and six strikeouts in seven innings to keep the game close.
Jaden Jensen (7-1) picked up the win for Southern Idaho after pitching the last out of the top of the 11th. Trent Bixby, the starter, threw 6.1 innings and gave up one run on five hits with one walk and five strikeouts.
The Mats wrapped up the season with a team record 49 wins, and Roby was named the ACCAC Player of the Year and Region I Finals MVP.
Arizona Western College is one of the top community colleges in Arizona. The college boasts partnerships with all three state universities that include face-to-face classes in Yuma. AWC leads the state in enrollment growth over the past 10 years and handed out more than 2,300 certificates and degrees in 2016-17.