YUMA, Ariz. – Jayden Murray dominated on the mound for the Arizona Western baseball team on Thursday afternoon in the Western District Tournament. The sophomore kept Trinidad State batters off balance all game, and he led the Mats (43-20) to a 5-1 win.
Fresh off being named the Region I Finals MVP, Murray (11-3) struck out 10 in nine innings, and he did not issue a walk while only allowing one run on five hits. He retired 12 straight at one point and only allowed multiple hits in an inning once.
After Trinidad State (36-23) took a 1-0 lead in the second inning, the Matador offense responded. Spencer Packard doubled, and Sean Roby lined a single to left field. It slipped past Alec Petterson and rolled to the wall. Packard scored on the play to tie the game while Roby raced for third. Two batters later, Manny Perez hit a sacrifice fly to left field to score Roby for a 2-1 lead.
The Mats added insurance with a two-out rally in the eighth. Roby swatted a double down the left field line, and Yodelvy Merendez beat out an infield single deep in the hole at third to keep the inning alive. Perez smashed a 1-0 pitch over the right-center field wall for a three-run blast and a 5-1 lead. It was his fifth homer of the year, and Perez drove in four of the five Matador runs on the day.
Jose Torres (6-3) took the loss for Trinidad State after allowing five runs (four earned) on 10 hits in eight innings. He walked one and struck out seven.
The Mats will play Central Arizona tomorrow afternoon at noon. The winner of that game will advance to the District Finals on Saturday. Trinidad State will take on Southern Nevada at 9:00 am.
Day passes are $8, and tournament passes are $20. Children 12 and under and AWC students (with their current student ID) get in for FREE!
In the first game of the day, Central Arizona beat Southern Nevada 15-5 in a game that was closer than the score indicated. The Vaqueros scored nine runs in the final two innings to blow what was a one-run game wide open.
Justice Nakagawa went 2-4 with a two-run double and a solo home run, and Chris Diehl popped a three-run home run in the eighth and two-run single in the ninth while going 2-5.
Grant Townsend (11-2) earned the win for Central, and Ben Cutting (6-1) took the loss for Southern Nevada.
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. AWC leads the state in enrollment growth over the past 10 years and handed out more than 2,400 certificates and degrees in 2015-16.