Baseball | 02/12/2021

BSB: Mats Break Out Long Ball in Sweep of NJC

YUMA, Ariz---Despite the Arizona Western Matadors (6-0 overall) piling on the runs in the first three games of the series, they broke out for seven extra-base hits in a 16-6 run-rule victory over the Northeastern Plainsmen (3-8 overall) to complete the four-game sweep Friday afternoon at Kammann Field.

The game took a few different feels beginning with Matador starter Bobby Vath striking out the first three Northeastern hitters of the game. At that point, Vath had struck out the first nine hitters he had faced on the season without allowing a baserunner.

That seemed to spark the Matador offense as Jarrod Belbin walked to start the inning and promptly stole second. Daniel Gonzalez moved him to third with a groundout.

Max Weller doubled home Belbin, Weller's 11th RBI of the season. He would come around a few pitches later on J.C. Navarro's RBI double. Dylan Edmands then belted a two-run homer beyond the center-field fence, capping a four-run first inning.

Northeastern starter Nate Denniston would settle in from there, retiring the final two batters of the inning.

Northeastern's offense scratched across a run against Vath in the second as Roberto Johnson doubled to start the inning and came around on Druw Sackett's line-drive into center.

The game would remain 4-1 into the fifth with Vath and Denniston exchanging zeroes.

Arizona Western broke through in the bottom of the fifth when Belbin wound up on third after being plunked, advancing on Gonzalez' single. The Matadors put on a double-steal with Belbin scoring as Gonzalez was caught on the attempt.

Northeastern's bat broke out in the top of the sixth against Vath as Alex Alva singled with one out and stole second. A walk to Dustin Boone setup a potential inning ending double-play on Jesh Leckey's groundball, but the Northeastern centerfielder beat the throw from second to prolong the inning. Johnson singled in a run before Matt Baughn cranked a game-tying three-run homer, evening the game at 5.

Arizona Western wasted no time responding as Edmands singled in front of Sam Fabian's walk. Oliver Frias blasted a 2-2 pitch well beyond the centerfield fence, out of the reach of a wall-climbing Lecky, to break the tie. The Matadors would pile on in the inning as Juan Salazar reached on a wild-pitch after striking out before consecutive doubles from Belbin and Gonzalez made it a five-run inning.

Northeastern got one back in the seventh against reliever Raleigh Pelkonen, but the Mats capitalized on an error to start the inning before Edmands drove in Navarro and Fabian smoked an RBI triple. Frias tacked on another run-scoring single before the final two runs of the game were forced in on walks.

Vath earns his first win of the year, striking out eight batters in six innings, allowing five runs on six hits.

Chris Desousa picks up the loss, now 1-1 on the year, after allowing the homer to Frias.

Arizona Western starts the year a perfect 6-0 at home and will hit the road for four games in Nevada beginning on Thursday.

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.