By ANGEL CANEZ
The Aztecs hosted the Phoenix College Bears in a double header. Pima would sweep the Bears 12-2 in game one and 4-1 in game two. Details not available at time of print.
The Pima Community College Aztecs continued the strong start to their season. Being led by the sophomore combo of Philp Skies and Austin Bryan. Both players took home Arizona Community College Athletic Conference Players of the Week honors.
Austin Bryan the Sahuarita southpaw went 3-0 in four starts racking up 32 strikeouts over 22 innings. While Skies batted .333 over eight games adding one homer, to go along with eight RBI and 11 runs scored, Skies also tacks on two saves. As the Aztecs prepare to suit up and start conference play.
The Aztecs were rained out the Saturday before and had to make up the doubleheader that Sunday. The sudden change of plans didn’t derail them as they had a two game sweep over the 13th ranked Mesa Community College Thunderbirds. Austin Bryan continued his impressive start to the season throwing a complete game shutout in a 1-0 win against the Thunderbird retiring 11 of the last 12 batters. “Austin Bryan has done an excellent job all season. Austin throws a lot of strikes and is very competitive. I expect him to continue giving our team a chance to win week in and week out,” said Aztecs Manger Ken Jacome. The Aztecs broke through in the bottom of the forth with a Karl Koerper sacrifice fly to bring in pitch runner JJ Rollon.
“I believe our guys have worked extremely hard over the course of the fall and are determined to win. We have a great group of players who understand what it takes to win ball games,” Jacome said.
The second game of the double headed was a nine inning game. Started with the Thunderbirds jumping out early taking a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Pima tied it at one in the forth then the bats came alive as Pima scored more runs in the fifth to take the lead. Freshmen Brian Romero hit a two run single to give Pima the lead. Romero’s single was followed by a Richer Ware two run homer to really break it open making the game 5-1. Freshman J. Bill Rivera and Sophomore Rafael Padilla would each drive in a run in the eighth inning followed by a two run double by Romero to give the Aztecs a 10-2 win. Sophomore Hayden Udall pitched a complete game going 8 innings giving up two runs. Both starting pitchers went the distance as Pima impressively used only two pitches over two games.
The Aztecs hosted a double header against South Mountain Community College at the West Campus Aztecs field starting ACAC conference play. The conference opener was not kind to Pima. The Aztecs lost the first game to the cougars 7-2 Pima hung around till the seventh innings being down 3-1 before South Mountain poured on four runs to put the game of of reach Pima go one back in the bottom of the inning but it wasn’t enough.
The second game was a heartbreaking 2-2 tie called because of darkness. Both teams pitching was at their peak, Pima gave up two runs in the third inning. Pima gave up nothing after that.
The Aztecs would start conference play with a doubleheader against the 13 ranked Arizona Western Matadors. They would take the first game 5-2 in a come from behind victory. Bryan making his first start after winning the ACCAC pitcher of the week tossed 5.2 innings getting a no decision.
The Aztecs gave up there first run, on a one out single and the Matadors stole there second run literally as Carlos Arellano stole home on a double steal to give Arizona Westen a 2-0 lead. Juan Pablo Ruedaflores would come in and get last out of the innings helping the Aztecs escape a jamp. Pima stormed back in the top of the six innings as the first three runners got on base before Brian Romero would tie the game with a two run bases loaded double. Pima took the lead on a bases loaded RBI single by Angel Ochoa and Skies would tack on some insures runs with a two run double he would also come in to pitch the last inninging, picking up his third save of the year in the process.
The Matadors jumped out to an early 4-0 lead scoring two runs in the first and second. Arizona Western pitching held on for the game as the Aztecs didn’t score till the 7th inning when Rollon scored on a passed ball followed by Cummings crossing the plant on an Ochoa ground out. Pima left nine runners on base in the loss.
The Aztecs next home game will be a double header on Thursday, March 5th as they play host to the Central Arizona College Vaqueros.