YUMA, Ariz. – Scoring first in both games, the Arizona Western Matador baseball team split Saturday’s double-header against the Pima Aztecs on Kammann Field.
Game one saw consecutive zeroes from both starting pitchers.
Matador’s starter Chris Koeiman tossed six scoreless innings, navigating around four hits and walk, while striking out four.
Pima starter Austin Bryan answered with five scoreless innings before being touched up for a pair of runs in the sixth. Bryan exited after 5 & 2/3 surrendered four hits but struck out eight.
The Matadors broke through against Bryan in the sixth as Zach Huffins singled with one out. After a wild pitch advanced Huffins to second, Carlos Arellano moved him to third with a single. Justin Greene broke the seal with an RBI single and advanced Arellano to third.
The Matadors got their second run on a double steal with Arellano crossing home to make it 2-0.
Pima tied the game within the first three hitters against Matador reliever Ramon Miranda in the top of the seventh. The Aztecs would go on to put up five runs in the inning to take a 5-2 lead into the bottom of the seventh.
Despite threatening with two runners and getting the tying run to the plate, Phillip Sikes struck out the side for Pima to hand the Matadors a 5-2 loss in game one.
The Matadors jumped out in game two after starter Gabe Ponce tossed a scoreless first.
Huffins belted the 0-1 pitch over the fence for a lead-off homer. One batter later, Greene swatted a solo homer on a 0-1 pitch to double the lead.
Ponce tossed another scoreless inning in the second before the Mats would extend their lead again.
With two on in the bottom of the inning, Huffins doubled home Robbie Wilkes and Arellano delivered Tyson Zamora home on a sacrifice fly to make it 4-0 Matadors.
The score would remain that way behind Ponce’s five scoreless innings. Ponce struck out seven and scattered five hits and two walks.
The Matadors turned the game over to Robert Gonzalez who struck out six over four innings of work, allowed a two-run seventh, but preserved the lead and the win for Arizona Western.
The split leaves Arizona Western at 9-4 on the season, 1-1 in conference play. Pima is 10-4 overall, 1-1 in ACCAC play.
Tuesday, the Matadors continue at Kammann Field with a double-header against the Gila Monsters of Eastern Arizona beginning at Noon.
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.