By DEANNA SHERMAN
The Pima Community College baseball team (21-20, 14-16 in ACCAC) is on a six game losing streak as they struggle to find their stride with continuously inconsistent play.
In Yuma, the Aztecs lost a pair of games against Arizona Western College on April 4.
In a slow, low-scoring first game Pima took the loss 1-0 against Western, failing to score a run in seven innings. Sophomore Ruben Bracamontes hit a triple in the seventh, giving the Aztecs some last minute hope but fellow sophomore Jaquese Moore couldn’t come through in the clutch, striking out to end the game.
Freshman Justin Hammergren pitched four innings, giving up the one run but helped himself with six strikeouts.
In their second game against Western it looked as though the Aztecs losing streak was going to come to an end, but Western rallied in the last three innings to finish the game on top 9-8.
In the third inning sophomore Devin Harrison scored the first of six runs in the third inning with a solo home run to put Pima up 3-2.
Next, sophomore Trevor Johnson hit a two-run RBI single followed by Bracamontes’ three-run home run allowing the Aztecs to establish an early 8-2 lead
Western waited to retaliate until the seventh inning as they put up numbers one right after the other scoring four runs in the seventh, two in the eighth and one in the ninth to end the game 9-8.
Sophomore Chris Kucko pitched six and one-third innings giving up five runs on seven hits with three strikeouts.
Pima lost both its doubleheaders against Central Arizona College at the West Campus on March 31.
Despite being down 9-4 the Aztecs seemed to have a comeback in reach. Sophomore Brandon Burke hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning with fellow sophomore Trey Stine following with an RBI that brought in freshman pinch runner David Oropeza to put the score at 9-7.
Sophomore Roy Aguirre took the loss pitching four and two-thirds innings giving Central all nine of their runs with four strike outs and two walks.
In game two Pima once again found themselves trying to play catch-up, unable to close the gap in an 8-3 loss.
By the top of the fourth inning the Aztecs were down 7-1. Freshman Vinnie Tarantola tried to redeem the Aztecs with and RBI double in the fourth and an RBI single in the sixth to bump them up 7-3.
Kucko pitched three and one-thirds innings, taking the loss and giving up seven runs with three strikeouts and one walk.
The Aztecs lost two on the road against Cochise College on Mar. 28, one being far more entertaining than the other.
In their first game at Cochise College the Aztecs were disappointingly run ruled by the 5th inning losing to Cochise 14-1.
Sophomore Trevor Johnson drove in Pima’s only run with an RBI single that brought in fellow sophomore Trey Stine in the first inning. Cochise scored three runs in the second inning, six in the third and another five in the fourth.
Hammergren pitched the last two and two-third innings giving up nine runs with two strikeouts and three walks.
Pima’s second game however was a complete contrast of the first as the Aztecs managed to drag Cochise with them to an extra tenth inning. Ultimately losing 7-6.
Starting out as a reflection of the first game the Aztecs finally came out fighting in the fourth inning led by freshman Al Cruz hitting an RBI double. Followed by sophomore Brandon Burke’s RBI single cutting into Cochise’s lead 4-2.
In the sixth inning Sophomore Ruben Bracamontes hit a groundout RBI to tie the game 4-4.
After that the Aztecs answered each of Cochise’s runs. Johnson tied the game in the 7th with a sacrifice-fly to make it 5-5 and then again with Moore hitting an RBI single in the 8th to tie the game once more at 6-6.
Unfortunately the exciting battle ended in the tenth with a Cochise win.
Freshman Daniel Tolano came in to pitch in the seventh throwing three and one-third innings and giving up only one run on three hits with four strikeouts and three walks. Johnson came to relief in the ninth and took the loss.
The Aztecs’ last win came against Eastern Arizona College on March 24, when they swept both games with three home runs, bringing their record to a hopeful 21-14 and 14-10 in conference play.
The losing streak dropped them to 9th in the division.
Their next challenge comes against Mesa Community College who currently holds the number two position in the ACCAC. The game will be held in Mesa on April 11.
April 11: @ Mesa CC, Mesa, noon
April 14: Paradise Valley CC, West Campus, noon
April 18: @ Phoenix College, Phoenix, noon
April 21: @Glendale CC, Glendale, noon
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