YUMA, Ariz. –The Arizona Western College Matadors swept the Scottsdale Fighting Artichokes Saturday afternoon in a double-header but did not get all the help they needed elsewhere to squeeze their way into the post-season.
The Matadors came in to the afternoon knowing they needed to win twice and would also need other conference match-ups to fall in a particular fashion in order to advance.
Ultimately, Central Arizona’s sweep of the conference leading Cochise Apaches was enough to finalize the four playoff teams in Division I without the defending champion Matadors.
Without knowing the results, the Matadors fought off Scottsdale in game one behind starter Chris Koeiman. Justin Greene’s leadoff double in the second set the stage for the first run of the game, as he scored on a double-play to take a 1-0 lead.
Scottsdale answered in the third on a pair of Matador errors before Josh Urps delivered a run scoring double to tie the game.
The Mats took advantage of a couple of Artichoke mistakes to put two runners on in front of Sammy Hackl’s two run double in the third.
The Matadors never would relinquish the lead as they scored two more unearned runs in the fourth and a run on Jarrod Belbin’s 5th inning single.
With Scottsdale pulling within three, at 6-3, in the sixth inning and threatening with two runners on, Robert Gonzalez entered and picked off the runner on second before getting a strike out to end the threat.
Carlos Arrelano’s solo homer in the sixth sparked a three run inning to widen the gap before Gonzalez closed the door to earn the save on a 9-3 win.
Gonzalez turned around to starter in game two and hurled seven more scoreless innings while striking out eight and allowing just four hits.
The Matadors scored to back him in the first as Zach Huffins singled and stole second. A drop fly ball in centerfield for the only run the Matadors would need.
Bu the Mats added another in the third anyway when Huffins tripled home Tyson Zamora.
Arizona Western kept the 2-0 lead until the sixth when they finally gave Gonzalez more support thanks to a three run inning after singles by Ramon Miranda, Greene, and Hackl. Robbie Wilkes’ two-run single finally pushed it to 5-0.
Gabe Ponce worked the final two innings on the hill to finalize the 5-0 win and needed sweep.
Arizona Western finishes the season 38-18 on the season and 23-15 in conference play.
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.