PHOENIX, Ariz. –After falling in a pitcher’s duel to start the day, the Arizona Western College Matadors staved off a late rally in order to earn a split of the double-header with the Paradise Valley Pumas Saturday afternoon.
The Matadors (30-10 Overall, 15-7 ACCAC) received a strong start from Gabe Ponce on the hill but could not hand him a lead against Pumas’ starter Haiden Hendricks, ultimately falling 2-0.
The Pumas scored the game’s lone runs in the fifth inning on a pair of Matador errors. An error to start the inning opened the door as Freddie Gomez would come around to score after a wild pitch and another Matador error. Frank Dickson reached on the second error and wound up scoring on a balk.
The Matadors could not muster the offense against Hendricks, who improves to 5-1 on the year, despite drawing four walks.
Ponce is saddled with the loss to fall to 4-2 on the season despite not allowing an earned run in six innings.
The Matadors did not wait around in game two as Zach Huffins reached base on a dropped third strike to start the game. Huffins eventually came in on Ramon Miranda’s RBI single.
The game remained 1-0 in favor of AWC until the fifth when Huffins again reached base to start the inning, this time with a double. After a walk and a bunt single, Anthony Guzman was hit by a pitch to force in a run. Justin Greene then singled in a pair of runs before Sammy Hackl doubled home two more to cap a five-run fifth inning.
The Pumas didn’t give a response offensively until the bottom of the seventh against Matador starter Ramon Miranda. Miranda surrendered a homer to Dickson in the inning and competed seven innings while striking out four and allowing just the one run.
Paradise Valley pulled a little closer against the Matador bullpen in the eighth, striking for three runs before Angelo Wicklert entered to stop the rally.
Robert Gonzalez tossed a scoreless ninth to seal the 8-4 win for the Matadors.
The Matadors snag their 30th win of the season while Paradise Valley sees their record go to 22-14-1 overall and 8-13 in conference play.
Arizona Western is back in action on Tuesday when they will take on the South Mountain Cougars in Phoenix for two games 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.