YUMA, Ariz. –The Matadors earned the series victory in game one of Friday’s double-header, but costly errors piled up forcing a split with the GateWay Geckos at Kammann Field.
The Arizona Western Matadors (8-2) took the first two games of the series with 26 runs of offense, but six errors in the nightcap proved too much to overcome.
In game one, Justin Greene sparked with 3-4 game while starter Chris Koeiman shutdown the Geckos in his four innings of work.
The Matadors got on the board in the bottom of the first after Zach Huffins was hit by a pitch and stole second. He advanced to third on a Carlos Arellano single and scored on Justin Greene’s RBI groundout to second.
With the bases loaded, Sammy Hackl skipped a single through the infield to score the inning’s second run, plating Arellano. Robbie Wilkes then dropped in a two run single into left and advanced to second on a throw. Anthony Guzman then drove in another run with an RBI groundout.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Matadors added to the lead after Huffins and Arellano reached, Greene singled home Huffins with a line drive into right-centerfield. Christian Castellanos then doubled home Arellano.
Greene doubled home his third RBI of the game in the bottom of the fifth, bouncing a ball up against the fence in right-center.
Koeiman earns the victory for the Matadors to improve to improve his record to 3-0 on the young season.
The Matadors got out to an early lead in game two as Greene produced yet another RBI to score Huffins in the bottom of the first.
Arizona Western maintained the lead behind starter Gabe Ponce who worked around his own error in the second to maintain the advantage.
Ponce continued to string zeroes until the fifth when the Matadors missed a double-play opportunity. Instead, a second error in the inning brought home GateWay’s first run of the day, albeit unearned. Ponce buckled down in the inning without allowing any more damage.
GateWay committed a costly error of their own in the sixth when a dropped pop-up with two outs allowed Greene to score from first.
Ponce finish the seventh with 9 total strikeouts, surrendering just three hits, two walks, and the lone unearned run.
The eighth proved to be a costly inning for the Mats behind reliever Zach Hansen. Gary Mattis reached on an error. He advanced to third on another Matador error, this time in the outfield after a single by Antoine Mistico. Mattis scored on a wild pitch and Mistico scored on a sac fly to take GateWay’s first lead of the series.
The Gecko’s added an insurance run in the ninth and closed the game down behind two scoreless innings from Zach Griffin and Tyler Breazeale, who earned the save.
The loss snaps a six game winning streak for the Matadors.
The Matadors hit the road for a single game Tuesday night at Chandler-Gilbert beginning at 6pm.
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.