Baseball | 05/01/2021
Sweep of Scottsdale Locks Up 3rd Seed
|Scottsdale Community College||6|
|Arizona Western College||7|
|Scottsdale Community College||3|
|Arizona Western College||9|
YUMA, Ariz---After being down five runs heading into the bottom of the fifth, the Arizona Western Matadors (31-13 overall, 23-11 ACCAC) turned things around to net a sweep of the Scottsdale Fighting Artichokes (16-20 overall, 16-20 ACCAC) Saturday afternoon at Kammann Field on Sophomore Day.
The win clinches the third seed, and a trip to Tucson next week, in the Region I, Division I Playoffs.
Things started out auspiciously for the Matadors as Scottsdale struck for three quick runs in the first inning. By the bottom of the fifth, the Matadors were down 5-0 but quickly loaded the bases with no outs.
A double-play scratched across the first run to get AWC on the board.
The Matadors were able to chase Scottsdale starter Brogan Stevens from the game in the sixth after a walk to Max Weller and a single by Oliver Frias.
Delano Selassa drove home a run before Dylan Edmands delivered an RBI double. Juan Salazar grounded out to force home a run and tie the game at 5. The Matadors loaded the bases again, when Jarrod Belbin's pop-up to shallow left that would have scored two, was caught on an amazing diving catch by the second baseman Nick Barendrick to keep the game tied.
Neither team would score in the seventh, forcing the tie-breaker rule to start the eighth.
After Scottsdale regained the lead on a sacrifice fly, the Matadors answered when Sam Fabian was hit by a pitch to put the winning run aboard to start the inning.
Daniel Gonzalez bunted to advance the runners to second and third before Cade Kalehuawehe's sac fly tied the game. Benito Garcia, grounded to third in what appeared to be the final out, but an errant throw allowed Fabian to score from second and give the Matadors a 7-6 win.
That shortened game two to a seven inning game, and the Matadors wasted no time striking for three runs in the bottom of the first. Belbin walked to start and Weller was hit by a pitch before Frias doubled them both home with a frozen rope into the left field corner.
Joseph Taveras made those runs look like enough through the first three innings, holding Scottsdale quiet. But the Artichokes scored a pair of runs in the fourth and Taveras completed his outing in the inning.
Scottsdale would eventually tie the game in the top of the sixth and loaded the bases with just one out. Bobby Vath came on in relief to face Andy Kupec in a 1-0 count. Kupec flied a ball to left field that Salazar dove, but could only trap. The runners on 1st and 2nd both assumed Salazar made the catch and returned to their bases while the runner from third crossed the plate. But the ball was ruled in play and Salazar fired it into Belbin at third for the second out, before throwing to second for the double-play, negating the go-ahead run for Scottsdale.
The Matadors capitalized on the momentum, with Fabian reaching to start the bottom of the sixth. Salazar then belted a two-run homer well beyond the fence in right center to give the Matadors the lead. Belbin delivered an RBI triple in the inning and Frias added another two run hit, giving him 4 RBI in the game and extending the Matador lead to 9-3.
Vath worked around a couple of walks, getting a back pick from Frias to cut down a runner a first on a well-timed play for out number two, to seasl the victory.
Arizona Western will now be in Pima's bracket for the Region Semifinals beginning on May 6th in Tucson.