TUCSON, Ariz. –A lengthy opening win took 11 innings but a couple of late runs proved to be the difference in a split for the Arizona Western College Matador Baseball team against the Pima Aztecs Tuesday afternoon.
The Matadors found themselves trailing for much of the first five innings to the Aztecs but made their comeback in the top of the sixth.
With the first couple of runners reaching in the inning, Robbie Wilkes laid down a sacrifice bunt that was thrown away, allowing both runs to score and tying the game at 3.
Gabe Ponce came out of the Matador bullpen and held the Aztecs scoreless over six innings of relief before the Matador offense broke through in the top of the 11th.
Justin Greene and Wilkes each singled before Sammy Hackl’s sacrifice fly broke the dead-lock. Jarrod Belbin and Tyson Zamora each added RBI singles in the inning and a handful of walks issued by the Aztecs forced in another pair of runs to equate to a five-run Matador inning.
Ponce nailed down the bottom of the inning, his seventh scoreless inning of relief, to secure the win.
In game two, Arizona Western jumped in front after Greene and Hackl both singled. Belbin singled in Greene to take the lead.
But Pima answered in the bottom of the inning with a solo-homer by Enrique Porchas to tie the game.
The game remained tied at one until the bottom of the sixth when Phillip Sykes doubled to start the inning. After a sacrifice bunt moved the runner to third, Matador starter Robert Gonzalez struck out a batter and issued a walk before Porchas doubled home both runners.
The Matadors got the tying run to the plate in the seventh due to a Pima error but could not score, dropping the contest 3-1.
Arizona Western moves to 36-18 on the season and 21-15 in conference play.
The Matadors wrap up the regular season at home on Saturday with a pair of games against the Scottsdale Fighting Artichokes beginning at noon.
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.