COOLIDGE, Ariz. –Errors bookended a pair of close losses as the Arizona Western Matadors dropped a pair of conference games to the Central Arizona Vaqueros Saturday afternoon.
After the Matadors went quietly in the first, the Vaqueros struck first with a three-run first inning capitalizing on a lead-off runner reaching on an error. Central strung together three hits in the inning but scored one of the runs on a balk.
After Central Arizona added a run in the second, the Matador offense responded with a five-run third inning. Robbie Wilkes started the inning with a bunt single before Sammy Hackl walked. Tyson Zamora advanced the runners to second and third with a sacrifice bunt. Zach Huffins grounded out to get the Mats on the board and score Wilkes.
After Jarrod Belbin reached on an error to extend the inning and score courtesy runner Arjun Huerta, Carlos Arellano and Ramon Miranda both singled, the latter of which scoring Belbin. Justin Greene delivered the big hit in the inning, a two-run single to give the Matadors the 5-4 lead.
But the Vaqueros responded by tying the game as Clayton Keyes doubled to start the bottom of the fourth inning and scored on Brennan Reback’s RBI single.
Zach Hogueisson’s two-run homer in the fifth extended the Central lead to 7-5.
The Matadors got a run back in the sixth on Robbie Wilkes’ RBI single that scored Ramon Miranda.
Central added the final two runs in the bottom of the sixth, capitalizing on another Matador error and Matt Aribal’s RBI double.
Dakota Donovan pitched a scoreless seventh for his fifth save of the year as the Vaqueros secured a 9-6 win.
In game two, the Matadors scored the first runs of the game in the second on Tyson Zamora’s two-run single. Zach Huffins singled another run home to make it 3-0.
The Vaqueros answered back with two runs in the bottom of the inning as Keyes hit a two-run homer.
The game remained 3-2 in favor of the Matadors until Jakob McKeon tripled in the bottom of the fifth and scored on Jake Meyer’s game-tying single.
The Matadors regained the lead in the next half inning as Zamora singled and Huffins doubled in front of Jarrod Belbin’s two-run single.
But with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh, Liam Spence ripped a two-run double to tie the game. The Vaqueros took their first lead on Aribal’s sacrifice fly.
Belbin’s solo homer in the top of the eighth tied the game at six.
In extras, another Matador error put the leadoff man aboard for the Vaqueros in the 10th. After a walk to Aribal put runners at first and second, reliever Zach Hansen induced a line-out to Belbin at first. After a passed ball advanced the runner to second and third, an intentional walk, setting up a force, loaded the bases with the Vaquero’s Hunter Jump at the plate. Jump worked the count full before drawing the walk to end the game 7-6.
The Matadors fall to 32-12 on the season and 17-9 in conference play.
The Matadors stay on the road Tuesday in ACCAC action playing two games at Prescott against the Yavapai RoughRiders.
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.