YUMA, Ariz. – Home sweet home. The Arizona Western College baseball team spent the first two weeks of the season on the road before hosting Colorado Northwestern Community College in a four-game series this weekend. The Mats (5-4 overall) won a doubleheader on Friday afternoon 5-0, 10-4 before starting conference play next weekend.
In game one, AWC starter Chris Koeiman (2-1) was in rhythm immediately and earned the win. He only allowed one hit in six innings while striking out five without issuing a walk.
Colorado Northwestern’s Alec Meyers tossed a pair of scoreless innings at the start, but the Mats took advantage of a CNCC mistake in the third to take the lead. After Snaider Torrealba led off with a single, he went to second on a sacrifice bunt. With two outs, Sean Roby hit a grounder to short that Chris Opolka dropped. He quickly picked it up, but the throw to first was low, and Torrealba came home. Roby then went to second and third on two straight balks, and Spencer Packard snuck an RBI single through the right side of the infield for a 2-0 lead.
AWC added two more runs in the bottom of the fourth. Meyers issued a four-pitch walk to Carlos Arellano before giving way to Donovan Greenwell on the mound, and Greenwell hit the next two Matador batters. With the bases loaded, Ramon Miranda smacked a line drive just past the second baseman’s glove to score one run. Roby punched a fly ball to deep right-center for a sac fly and a 4-0 lead.
The Mats pushed the lead to 5-0 in the sixth inning. With runners on second and third, Roby hit an RBI groundout to score one. He went 1-3 with one run scored and three RBI in the game.
Antoine Villard came on and pitched a scoreless seventh inning for the Mats.
Meyers took the loss for CNCC and pitched into the fourth inning. He allowed three runs on four hits with one walk and one strikeout.
In game two, Colorado Northwestern jumped on AWC starter Ashton Mansur to grab a 4-0 lead after two innings. Zach Peterson scored in the first inning to put CNCC up, and then he singled in a run during a three-run second inning.
The Mats answered in the bottom half of the second. The Mats loaded the bases with one out, and Torrealba was hit by a pitch to get the Mats on the board. Robbie Wilkes grounded out to second base to score another run. Miranda stepped up and whacked a two-run double that tied the game.
Fabian Muniz (1-1) took the mound in the third inning for the Mats and started dealing. The sophomore struck out seven in 3.1 scoreless innings and picked up his first win of the season.
AWC took the lead in the fourth inning. With a runner on second and one out, Miranda singled up the middle. The ball got by Peterson in center field, and the runner scored. Peterson overthrew the cutoff man, and Miranda came all the way around to score for a 6-4 lead. Roby knocked a single, and then Packard scored him from first with a screaming grounder that rolled almost to the wall.
Miranda came up with another big hit in the fifth inning. This time, he rapped a two-run, two-out triple that made it 9-4. Miranda went 3-4 with one run scored and five RBI, and he finished a home run shy of the cycle in the game.
In the sixth, AWC added one more. With one out, Justin Greene knocked an RBI single that pushed the lead to 10-4. Greene went 3-4 with one run scored and an RBI.
Robert Gonzalez and Zach Hansen finished out the game on the mound for the Mats and kept clean sheets. Gonzalez struck out one in two-thirds of an inning, and Hansen struck out two in the seventh.
Logan Hooley took the loss for CNCC. He allowed seven runs on 10 hits in 3.1 innings while striking out two.
The Mats take on Colorado Northwestern tomorrow in a pair of seven inning games. First pitch is set for noon. Admission to Kammann Field is FREE!
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 2,300 certificates and degrees in 2016-17.