Baseball | 02/10/2021
BSB: Mats Capitalize, Overcome Early Deficit
YUMA, Ariz---Despite starting 20 minutes late, a four-run deficit, and a slow start offensively, the Arizona Western Matadors (3-0 overall) resiliantly fought off the Northeastern Plainsmen (3-5 overall) 10-5 in the first of a four-game series Wednesday afternoon at Kammann Field.
The game started twenty minutes late, but Northeastern's offense jumped out like the timing was perfect in the top of the first. Alex Alva and Jesh leckey singled up the middle, before Joe Quintana's single to right opened the scoring. Roberto Johnson doubled home a run to left, Drew Sackett delivered a sacrifice fly before Mason Sauter delivered a two-out single to score the first four hitters of the game for the Plainsmen.
But Ondrej Furko settled in from that point on, retiring 13 of 14 to make it through the fifth inning and give the Arizona Western offense time to respond.
The Matadors finally broke through in the third against Northeastern's starter Trent Schumacher. Wesley Estrella reached on an error under the first basemen's glove, before Jarrod Belbin logged the game's first hit with a line drive into center. Juan Salazar then grounded into a potential double-play but Schumacher started to go to first, before adjusting and sailing the ball high above second base. Estrella scored the first run for the Matadors on the play.
After J.C. Navarro walked, Dylan Edmands drew a bases-loaded walk to force in a run. Sam Fabian lined a ball into left field to score Navarro and Salazar, tying the game at four and chasing Schumacher after just 2.1 innings.
Furko exited after five inings, in line for the win after Jarrod Belbin had singled and scored when Edmands was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to put AWC up 5-4.
Northeastern broke their string of runner-less innings in the fifth when Dustin Boone laid down a bunt single. Calvin Davis delivered a pinch hit double to tie the game against Luuk ter Beek.
The Matadors regained the lead in the sixth as Daniel Gonzalez walked and stole second to start the inning. Edmands dropped a single into right field as Arizona Western led 6-5 into the eighth.
From that point, Tyler Campbell, the Northeastern reliever, and ter Beek kept the game at 6-5.
But errors caught up with Northeastern again in the eighth as Belbin walked before a Gonzalez bunt single. Jose Paula lined a ball to third that was dropped to load the bases. William Lorenz came on to pitch for Northeastern but uncorked a wild-pitch to the backstop to score Belbin. After Edmands reached base again on a walk, Fabian struck out. Cade Kalehuawehe dribbled a bouncing ball up the middle that appeared to be the final out, but it squeaked away from Sackett the shortstop and two runs scored as Gonzalez flew around from second and beat the throw. Max Weller delivered a flare single to right to extend the lead to 10-5.
ter Beek's final three innings held Northeastern scoreless to pick up the win, improving the Matadors to 3-0 on the year.
Northeastern falls to 3-5.
The series continues with a double-header on Thursday at Kammann Field in Yuma beginning at Noon. The second game will follow immediately after. Both games will be streamed on the Matador Athletics Facebook Page (facebook.com/awcmatadorathletics)
Fans are permitted but masks and social distancing are mandatory. The bleachers are closed, so lawn chairs are encouraged.
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.