Twin Falls, Idaho. – An early lead evaporated in the fifth inning for the Arizona Western College baseball team, and the Mats (47-15) lost to the College of Southern Idaho (48-10) 10-2 in seven innings on Thursday night.
The Mats led 2-1 headed to the bottom of the fifth, and the game seemed set for a pitcher’s duel. Both starting pitchers had escaped jams in the first three innings as the two teams each left four runners on base and seemed in a rhythm by retiring the sides in order in the fourth. But in the fifth, CSI’s Ryke Erickson led off with a single that opened the floodgates. With one out, CSI drew two walks to load the bases. Hayden Leatham swatted a triple off the base of the wall in right-center field to take a 4-2 lead. One batter later, Nolan Walker smashed a homer to straightaway center to make it 6-2. It was Walker’s second home run of the year.
CSI added four runs with a two-out rally in the seventh that ended the game. A single, error and walk loaded the bases, and Travis Bohall tripled to right-center for a 9-2 lead. He scored to end the game on an infield single when David Hudelson beat out a slow roller that died in the infield grass on the third baseline.
AWC took the lead in the first inning with a two-out rally and seemed set for big things. Spencer Packard doubled off the wall, and Manny Perez walked. Justin Greene lined a ball to left field to score Packard from second for a 1-0 lead.
CSI answered within two batters in the bottom of the first. Bohall singled up the middle, and he scored on a double by Hudelson one batter later. CSI loaded the bases, but Matador starter Irving Martin wiggled out with a strikeout and groundout to keep the score tied 1-1.
Packard put the Mats back up in the third inning. Zach Huffins led off with a single, and Packard poked a grounder by the shortstop that scored Huffins from first for a 2-1 lead. Packard went 3-4 in the game with a run scored and an RBI.
Martin (8-3) took the loss on the mound after allowing six runs on eight hits in 4.1 innings. He walked three and struck out two.
Dylan Steen (11-1) earned the win after throwing all seven innings. He gave up two runs on eight runs while walking three and striking out three. Steen induced two inning-ending double plays with the bases loaded to limit the Matador chances.
The Mats will take on Trinidad State in a win-or-go-home game tomorrow at noon. The winner will advance to play the loser of the Salt Lake CC-Southern Idaho game. The loser is eliminated.
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.