By RENE ESCOBAR
Pima Community College baseball opened conference play with a split series as the team drew even against Scottsdale Community College.
Feb. 10, Game 1: Pima CC 5, Scottsdale CC 6.
The Aztecs’ efficient offense stuttered against Scottsdale.
The team was held scoreless until the sixth inning. Then the Aztecs offensive machine began to hum as they added 5 runs, all in the sixth.
Sophomores Logan Klunder and Javier Nava started the scoring, both hitting RBIs to start. Freshman Rafael Padilla took advantage of a miscue by the defense, scoring on the play.
The Aztecs’ effort wasn’t enough, as the rally fell short. Padilla went 2 for 4 with 1 run scored, and sophomore Jose Contreras took the loss, tossing 3⅓ innings and allowing 3 earned runs on 7 hits.
Game 2: Pima CC 3, Scottsdale CC 2.
Freshman Rafael Padilla was the offense for the Aztecs as his first at-bat was a crushed 3-run home run to start the game.
The pitching stepped up to secure the lead and the win as Freshman Michael Wong tossed five innings, allowing an earned run on 1 hit. Sophomore Isaac Lopez earned his first save, shutting Scottsdale, allowing zero hits the last 2⅓ innings.
Feb. 13, Game 1: Pima CC 3, GateWay CC 6
The Aztecs earn split against GateWay in a conference battle at West Campus on Feb. 10.
The Aztecs were in a back-and-forth-tug-of-war with GateWay trailing 2-1 freshman Javier Nava came up big with a 2-run hit in the 6th to but the Aztecs up 3-2 going into the top of 7th.
Freshman Rafael Padilla finished 2-for-3 with an RBI, freshman pitcher Adam Moraga started the game throwing six innings, allowing 2 earned runs, on 5 hits, while striking out 3.
“We have to put the ball in play.” Coach Rich Alday said.
Game 2: Pima CC 6, GateWay CC 3
The Aztecs got the ball in play, scoring 3 runs in the opening inning of the second game.
The Aztecs cut off the rally attempted by GateWay to earn a split of the two-game series.
Sophomore Logan Klunder and freshman Michael Wong both went 2 for 4 with an RBI. Freshman pitcher Ryon Craig took the win in relief of sophomore Troy Gutbub, tossing 3⅓ giving up zero earned runs, with one strikeout.
Feb. 17, Game 1: Pima CC 3, Mesa CC 7
The Aztecs were swept for the first time this season against No. 15 Mesa Community College.
The Aztecs played from behind the entire game, with their biggest deficit being 7. The got 3 runs on the board, but the rally was cut short, losing 7-3.
Freshman Enrique Porchas went 1 for 4 with two RBIs, while sophomore Jose Contreas pitched three innings allowing 4 earned runs on 5 hits.
The Aztecs held a lead late, but a 5-run inning in the seventh from Mesa secured a sweep of Pima.
Porchas finished 2 for 5 with two RBIs, while freshman Rafael Padilla went 3-for-5 in the loss. Freshman Michael Wong started the game. He threw six innings and allowed 2 earned runs on 5 hits.
Going 1-3 in their last four, the Aztecs are on the road again on Feb. 21 against Phoenix College.
They’re looking for a bouceback series to improve their 10-6 record.
Feb. 24: vs Paradise Valley Community College, noon, doubleheader
Feb. 27: at Chandler-Gilbert Community College, noon, doubleheader
Mar. 3: at Glendale Commuinty College, noon, doubleheader
Mar 6: at GateWay Community College, noon, doubleheader