YUMA, Ariz. – The Arizona Western College Matadors cashed on a hoard of walks while ripping a trio of extra base hits en route to a 17-7 victory over the GateWay Community College Geckos Thursday at Kammann Field.
The Matadors practiced patience in working 21 walks while capitalizing on a pair of errors by the Geckos.
Matador starter Robert Gonzalez kept the Geckos quiet in the first by inducing an inning ending double-play.
The Geckos loaded the bases against Gonzalez in the third without the ball leaving the infield. An infield single, walk, and error by the Mats, set the stage for GateWay, before Josh Wunnenberg walked to force home the game’s first run. Gonzalez struck out Josh Glenn to leave the bases loaded and prevent any further damage.
The Matadors got even in the bottom of the inning thanks to a two-out solo home run by Christian Castellanos, tying the game at 1.
Arizona Western snagged its first lead in the fourth with two-outs as well. The Matadors used a pair of walks in front of a Carlos Arellano RBI double. After Justin Greene walked to load the bases, Castellanos, Jarrod Belbin, and Sammy Hackl all walked to force in three runs.
The Mats added more runs in the bottom of the fifth when Tyson Zamora stole second and advanced to third after the Geckos failed to cover the second base bag. He scored beating a throw home from the second basemen on Zach Huffins’ fielder’s choice. Arellano ripped another RBI double to plate Huffins.
GateWay got to Gonzalez in the sixth after an error prolonged the inning. Jackson Westhoff singled home a run with two outs to force the Matadors to the bullpen. Arturo Gil entered for Gonzalez and escaped the sixth inning.
Arizona Western retrieved that run in the bottom of the sixth when Zamora singled home courtesy runner Arjun Huerta with two outs against Gecko’s reliever Tyler Hansen. The Mats opened it up in the inning as Arellano added a single for his third RBI. The Mats got two more on a dropped pop-up before Jarrod Belbin stung an RBI single to chase Hansen.
The Geckos hung around, rallying for five runs in the top of the seventh against Gil and the Matadors.
Gonzalez earned the win for the Matadors tossing 5 and two thirds innings, while holding the Geckos to a single earned run.
With the win, the Matadors improve to 7-1 on the young season.
The Matadors and Geckos conclude the series on Friday with a double-header at Kammann Field beginning at 11am.
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.