YUMA, Ariz. – Despite some late theatrics, the Arizona Western Baseball team rode solid starts to a sweep of the GateWay Geckos Saturday at Kammann Field.
The Matadors saw a five run lead wither to one, before sealing a 6-5 victory in the opening game before dispatching of GateWay 5-1 in the finale.
The opening game started a bit wonky for the Matadors as Gary Mattis’ one out double put runners on second and third with just one out. Antoine Mistico beat the throw from Matador Shortstop Carlos Arellano on the next play to take the lead.
But Matador starter Chris Koeiman avoided any further damage by picking off Mattis and inducing an inning ending ground out.
The Matadors immediately responded offensively behind a leadoff single from Zach Huffins and an Arellano double to put runners on second and third. Three walks would force home both runners and the Matadors never surrendered the lead.
Behind Koeiman, who tossed five innings while striking out six, the Matadors would hold the lead the rest of the game.
Arizona Western opened it up in the fourth with a four run frame. Started on singles by Robbie Wilkes and Tyson Zamora, Huffins with hit by a pitch to load the bases. Arellano singled home a run, as did Justin Greene. The Mats added two more in the inning off of a bases-loaded walk and an RBI groundout.
The Geckos tallied another run in the fifth against Koeiman.
Damien Hernandez took over on the mound in the sixth for the Matadors and worked a scoreless frame.
But the Geckos made things interesting in the seventh. The first two batters of the inning singled off Hernandez prompting Arjun Huerta to enter the game.
Mistico promptly doubled in a run. Huerta struck out Mattis before surrendering a single and walk. After striking out Morgan McIntosh, Huerta walked Frank Racioppo to load the bases with the tying run on third and go-ahead run on second.
Huerta induced a game ending ground ball to Arellano, who threw out pinch hitter Jacob Federico to quell the threat.
The Matadors had much smoother sailing thanks to a complete game effort from starter Robert Gonzalez.
Gonzalez strung together zero after zero, taking a shutout into the ninth inning with two outs.
But the AWC offense provided enough run support early starting with a two run second. Ramon Miranda delivered a two-out knock and later scored after Robbie Wilkes cashed him in after a long at-bat.
Wilkes scored on a two out single by Tyson Zamora and that proved to be plenty of support for Gonzalez.
Gonzalez scattered four hits and three walks while striking out five and sealed the complete game victory.
The lone unearned run he surrendered was after the Mats committed three two-out errors in the ninth.
Arizona Western improves to 13-4 on the season, 5-1 in the ACCAC. GateWay falls to 8-11 overall and 3-3 in the ACCAC.
The Matadors are back at home on Tuesday hosting Chandler-Gilbert for a double-header 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.