YUMA, Ariz. – A nine-run fourth inning propelled the Arizona Western College Matadors past Vancouver Island University 15-4 Friday afternoon at Kammann Field.
The Matadors built an early lead by pushing across a pair of runs in both of the first and third innings.
Singles by Zach Huffins and Carlos Arellano setup Justin Greene to drive in the game’s first run with a single of his own. Greene would later score after Sammy Hackl doubled to move him to third. Jarrod Belbin hit a ground ball to the right side to get the run across.
Arellano singled to start the third before stealing second. He swiped third as well, drawing an errant throw down the left field line in the process, and scored easily. Belbin singled later in the inning and came home on Ramon Miranda’s double down the left field line.
Vancouver Island pulled tight in the fourth against Matador starter Mason Myhre, capitalizing on a lead-off walk. Zeke Holt doubled home the runner before Dylan Kirby connected on a two-run homer.
Myhre escaped the inning without any further damage and the Matadors maintained the lead.
The bats went to work in support of their starter in the bottom of the inning. Two walks and a hit batter loaded the bases for Arellano. His sharp grounder in the hole was snagged by his counterpart Tanner Hess at short on a sliding stop, but Hess’ throw to second short-hopped the second basemen Marcus Tomaszeski and brought a run home without any outs.
After a wild pitch brought in another run, Greene cashed in the other two runners with a double off of the outfield fence.
Hackl then walked in front of Belbin, who reached on an errant throw by the pitcher fielding a bunt thus scoring Greene. Three more walks forced two more runs in for the Matadors. Huffins delivered a sacrifice fly and Arellano drove in Wilkes to cap a nine run inning.
The Mariners got a single unearned run back in the top of the fifth against reliever Angelo Wicklert.
Kevin Ortega threw scoreless innings in the sixth and seventh while striking out three, and the Matadors added a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning to shorten the game by run-rule.
Arizona Western improves to 15-5 on the season. The Matadors return to conference action on Saturday hosting Central Arizona for a double-header on Kammann Field beginning at Noon.
They will play at home against on Tuesday, a schedule change, hosting Yavapai on March 5th for two games. The originally scheduled home games on April 9th will now be in Prescott, Arizona.
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.