Baseball | 04/03/2018
YUMA, Ariz. – Two much-needed wins snapped a three-game losing streak for the Arizona Western College baseball team in Yuma on Tuesday afternoon. The Mats (30-12 overall, 14-8 Arizona Community College Athletic Conference) swept Phoenix (22-20 overall, 11-17 ACCAC) 4-1 and 13-3 (seven innings).
In the first game, Irving Martin turned in a strong performance on the mound, and the offense gave him all the support he needed in the first inning. With one out in the bottom of the first, Sean Roby clobbered a 1-2 pitch way over the left field wall. His 12th homer of the season put the Mats up 1-0. The Mats promptly loaded the bases, and Manny Perez poked an RBI single to right field. Justin Greene followed with a sacrifice fly to center, and AWC led 3-0.
Martin (5-2) kept Phoenix off balance and pounded the strike zone throughout the game. The sophomore tied a season high with nine strikeouts while allowing one run on four hits and one walk.
The Bears tagged Martin for his run in the third inning. With two outs and a runner on second, Jacob Stobart hit a line drive single to right field to score the runner and trim the lead to 3-1.
Yodelvy Merendez smacked a solo home run to left field to put the Mats back up by three in the fourth. It was his fourth homer of the season.
Martin wiggled out of a jam in the seventh to wrap up his fourth complete game of the season. He gave up a walk and a double for two on with no outs. With the tying run at the plate, Martin fanned Joey DiMarco and Aaron Prado before getting a lineout to first to end the game.
Livan Cordova (1-5) took the loss for Phoenix. He allowed four runs, all earned, on nine hits while walking two and striking out six in 5.1 innings.
In game two, the Mats took an early lead and broke the game open in the sixth inning to seal the deal. The offense kept the pressure on by finding ways on base and taking advantage of Phoenix errors in the field.
Despite only getting one hit in the second inning, the Mats took a 2-0 lead. A bases loaded wild pitch opened the scoring with one out, and Ramon Miranda’s sacrifice fly to right field put the Mats up 2-0.
In the fifth, the Mats pushed the lead to three. Roby singled to left field and went to second when the field dropped the ball. Packard looped a breaking ball to right field one batter later to score Roby.
Matador starter Chris Koeiman was cruising through the game until Phoenix touched him up for three runs to tie it in the sixth. He had faced 16 batters in the first five innings (one more than the minimum of 15), but Luke Bowman led off the sixth with a double. Koeiman alternated strikeouts and walks to load the bases with two outs. Robert Gonzalez came on in relief, but Anthony Williams whacked a bases-clearing double to deep right-center field to make it 3-3.
AWC answered in the bottom of the sixth. With one out and runners at first and third, Sean Roby scored one run with an RBI line drive single to right field. Packard walked to load the bases, and Arellano hit a sac fly to right to make it 5-3. Nanny hit a high fly ball right behind the pitcher’s mound that should have been the third out, but PC’s Christian Stone dropped it. The ball rolled almost to the Matador dugout, and Roby scored from second. Perez walked to load the bases again, and Greene sent a screamer through the right side of the infield all the way to the wall for a three run double. Greene went to third on the throw home, and Merendez scored him one batter later with a single to left field for a 10-3 lead.
The Mats ended the game in the bottom of the seventh by the mercy rule with a two-out rally. Packard hit a ground ball to Stone at short, but the throw to first was in the dirt and bobbled. Arellano walked, and Nanny singled up the middle to score Packard. Perez followed it up with an RBI base knock to left field, and Greene ended it with an RBI ground-rule double to right that made it 13-3. Greene went 3-5 with four RBI and two doubles in the game.
Gonzalez (3-0) got the win for the Mats after allowing the double in the sixth to Williams. He immediately retired the next batter on a line drive to left field. Koeiman gave a great effort despite not factoring in the decision. The freshman struck out eight, one short of his season high, in 5.2 innings and only allowed three runs on two hits and three walks.
Buddy Brownlee (1-1) took the loss for Phoenix. He allowed seven runs, two earned, on three hits while walking three in the sixth inning.
The Mats are on the road at Pima Community College on Saturday. The doubleheader is scheduled to start at noon in Tucson.
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.