YUMA, Ariz. – With Arizona Western College running out of outs, Daniel Lafarga came up big on Friday afternoon in game two of a doubleheader. In the seventh inning, he put the team up with a two-run home run before outdoing himself in the ninth with a three-run walk-off blast for a 7-4 win over Colorado Northwestern Community College.
Tied at four in the bottom of the ninth, Bryce O’Brien and Najee Gaskins both singled to put runners on the corners. Colorado Northwestern pulled reliever Easton Woods in favor of Tylor Beach to face Lafarga. Lafarga worked his way to a 3-1 count before slamming a laser beam over the left field wall to win 7-4. It was his fifth homer of the season.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Mats (11-2 overall) were down 3-0. Snaider Torrealba led off with a single, and Sebastian Perez sent him to third after reaching on an error. O’Brien singled Torrealba home to put the Mats on the board. Landon Riker hit a grounder to second that scored Perez and cut the lead to 3-2. Lafarga then clobbered a 1-1 pitch out of the park to put AWC up 4-3. He finished 2-5 with a pair of homers and five RBI.
Colorado Northwestern rallied for a run to tie things in the eighth. Taylor Wright led off with a double to right field. Cole Ensing then grounded one through the right side of the infield to score Wright and tie the game at four.
Earlier in the game, CNCC scratched out a pair of runs in the fourth inning. With a runner on third and two outs, Ensing hit an RBI double down the right field line for a 1-0 lead. He came home when Noah Given hit a deep double to left center field to make it 2-0. Ensing finished 3-3 with a pair of RBI and two runs scored.
CNCC extended the lead to 3-0 in the top of the seventh inning. Ensing walked and went to third on a pair of wild pitches. He came home when Ben Riding singled through the left side of the infield.
Brody Kato (1-0) earned the win for the Matadors after pitching 1.1 innings in relief. He struck out three without allowing a walk or a hit. Manny Perez started the game for the Mats and pitched well through five innings. He allowed two runs, both earned, on three hits while walking one and striking out five.
Easton Woods took the loss for Colorado Northwestern after allowing six runs, three earned, on six hits with three strikeouts.
In game one, Irving Martin (1-0) was masterful on the mound for Arizona Western. He scattered five hits over six innings without allowing a run. Martin walked one and struck out seven (tying his season high). The freshman didn’t allow an extra base hit, and CNCC didn’t have a baserunner reach third base.
The Matador offense only managed four hits in six innings, but they managed to squeeze out a pair of runs.
In the third inning, Gaskins led off with a ground ball single to the left, and he took second when the ball skipped past the left fielder. Torrealba bunted him to third, and Riker drove him home with an RBI single and a 1-0 lead.
Riker led off the sixth inning with a single and went to second on a grounder by Spencer Packard. A balk on Meyers sent Riker to third, and Lafarga lined one down the left field line to score Riker.
Kato pitched the seventh inning for his third save of the season. He allowed one hit while striking out two.
The Matadors play two more games to wrap up the four game series with Colorado Northwestern tomorrow. First pitch of the doubleheader is set for 11:00 am at Kammann Field, and admission is FREE!
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 2,400 certificates and degrees in 2015-16.