Baseball | 03/02/2021
Two-Out Magic Propels Matadors Past EAC
|Eastern Arizona College||2|
|Arizona Western College||9|
YUMA, Ariz--- Two-out magic propelled the Arizona Western Matadors (11-3 overall, 3-1 ACCAC) in a sweep of the Eastern Arizona Gila Monsters (0-4 overall, 0-4 ACCAC) Tuesday afternoon at Kammann Field by the scores of 9-2 and 14-4.
The Matadors scored 18 of their 23 runs on the day after two were out in an inning, including five of the final six runs that closed out run-rule victory in game two.
Game one had the potential to be a pitcher's dual as Matador starter Elvis Parra kept the Gila Monsters in check, with the exception of a two-run fourth inning, that materialized because of a lead-off walk.
Arizona Western started their impressive two-out feat in the very first inning after Jose Bustamonte quickly retired the first two Matadors. But three walks and a hit batter, forced in a run in front of a two RBI single from Samuel Fabian and an RBI knock off the bat of Cade Kalehuawehe.
The Matadors flashed their gloves in the second when Max Weller made a diving catch, robbing Jorge Olague of a single to start the inning and Jarrod Belbin's diving stop, before popping up to throw out Miguel Gerardo to end the inning.
The Mats' four-run lead grew to five on J.C. Navarro's triple in the third.
After Eastern pushed across their runs in the fourth, the Matadors had two runs in the fifth on Fabian's RBI double and two more in the sixth on a pair of Eastern errors.
The four run first was plenty for Parra who struck out ten while allowing just a pair of hits in his second complete game victory of the year, running his record to 2-1.
Game two started similarly, with Matador starter D.J. Contreras utilizing some stellar defense over the first three innings to keep Eastern scoreless.
In the bottom of the first, the two-out gene appeared again as Weller was hit by a pitch to extend the inning for Oliver Frias, who belted his second homer of the year over the left-field fence.
The Matadors did it again in the third when Weller singled with two outs and Frias reached on a hard ground ball to third, ruled an error. After Navarro drew a walk, Dylan Edmands laced a two-run single into the outfield to make it 4-0.
Eastern strung together three hits in the fourth, forcing Contreras to work and eventually ending his outing after four solid innings.
The game changed pace over the middle innings as the Matadors scored three out runs after a pile of walks in the fourth.
Michael Alvarez' two-run homer in the fifth brought Eastern within four at 7-3 but Ondrej Furko held them to just one run from the sixth inning on.
That provided the Matador offense plenty of time to add to the two-out RBI total. Navarro's ground-rule double in the sixth set the stage for a six run eighth, with Kalehuawehe and Belbin delivering the knock-out blows.
Contreras pitched four innings in the run-rule victory to qualify for his third win of the year, while Furko's three innings of relief net the save.
Arizona Western will hit the road on Friday to play GateWay Community College for a double-header beginning at Noon.
Fans are prohibited from attending in Maricopa County but the games will be livestreamed on the Matador Athletics Facebook Page.