COOLIDGE, Ariz. – A showdown between Arizona Western’s Eric Ligda and Central Arizona’s Ryley Widell was cut short due to darkness earlier in the year. The two squared off again in game two of the Region I Finals, and they were masterful on the mound. Widell was the winner in a 1-0 game with a total of seven hits and one unearned run between the two teams.
Central’s win evened up the Region I Championship at one game apiece.
Widell (7-2) didn’t allow a runner to reach third base in his eight innings on the mound. He struck out eight while only giving up three hits and one walk.
Ligda (11-4) matched him pitch for pitch and only gave up three hits and one walk along with the unearned run. He struck out five.
Central (40-20) knocked one home with a two out rally in the fourth. Pikai Winchester dropped a single into right field. Alix Garcia poked a single straight up the middle, but it went under Landon Riker’s glove and all the way to the center field wall. Winchester raced home on the error, and CAC led 1-0.
The Mats (41-20) put two on with one out in the fifth, but a double play snuffed out the rally before it could begin.
In the ninth, the Mats again put two on with two outs, but CAC’s Peyton Remy struck out Sean Roby to end the game. It was Remy’s second save of the season.
The two teams square off one more time in a winner-take-all matchup for the Region I Championship tomorrow afternoon. The first pitch is set for noon, and the winner will host the West District Finals the following week.
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.