By ANGEL CANEZ
The Pima Community College Aztecs are a quarter into the season with a record of 16-9-1. Brian Romero Pima’s freshmen first baseman won the ACCAC Division I Player of the Week for February 18-24. This marked the second consecutive week an Aztec player has won the ACCAC Division I Player of the Week award as Philp Skies took it home for the week of February 11-17 . This also marked the third Aztec player to win an award this season as Pitcher Astin Bryan won ACCAC Division I pitcher of the Week for the week of February 11-17 as well. However Pima has hit a bit of a snag during conference play as they dropped four of there last six games.
Pima played host to the Yavapai Community College Roughriders on Mar. 9. The doubleheader was was pushed back from its initial start time of 12:30 p.m. by two hours due to a water main bursting.
“Beating this team is big, cause it’s probably be last spot will be fighting for in the playoffs. we’ll probably be against them So it’s a big series,” Adam Moraga said before the game.
The Aztecs went on to split the double header dropping the first game in heartbreaking fashion in extra innings 6-5. Pima fell behind 4-0 befour Cole Cummings scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the third inning. Pima was down by three runs heading into the bottom of the sevena when the aztecs tied it back up at five as Pima mustered up a two out rally lead by the Sophomores. Phillip Sikes started it off with a triple that was then followed by an RBI single by Rafael Padilla. Javier Nava was then hit by a pitch, and that was followed by an RBI single from Garett Lake that drove in Padilla. Freshmen Karl Koerper tied up the game at five with an RBI single driving in pitch runner Matthew Hackman, however Lake was gunned out to end the inning trying to take third base. The Aztecs doomed themselves this game however coming four errors. As they commited two errors in the eight innings leading to the roughriders scoring the winning run on a wild pitch. Moraga ended up taking the loose. Sophomore Hayden Udall had his toughest outing of the season giving up six runs in seven inning. Riley Egloff got the save for Yavapai, as the aztecs ended the game with two runners on they would go one to leave ten runners on base in game one.
Needing a big win the Aztecs turned to there ace Astin Bryan who got Pima back to their winning ways as he tossed a complete game shutout in a five innings to get a 2-0 victory in a hard won pitching duel. Bryan improved his record to 5-0, Lake drove in both runs with two RBI singles as the game cut short due to daylight.
Mar. 5 . 8-0 Central Arizona, Central Arizona 14-2
The Aztecs had a rough outing at home on Mar. 5. against Central Arizona College because Pima only mustered up five hits in a two games. getting sweep by the Central Arizona Vaqueros . The Aztecs faced the ACCAC conference ERA leader Lucas Knowles and he shutout the Aztecs 8-0 to go along with nine strikeouts as Pima managed only two hits in the game both 4th inning singles by sophomores Rafael Padilla, and Enrique Porchas.
The day got worse in the second game of the double header which was a nine inning game. Central Arizona pulled out the bats in game two driving in 14 runs on 14 hits. The Aztecs didn’t help their own cause as they handed out 10 walks to go along with four error things looked good in the beginning as Pima jumped ahead early with an RBI single by Karl Koerper in the bottom of the first inning to take a 1-0 lead. the Vaqueros tied it in the top of the second then tacked on 3 in the third, six in the sixth and four in the ninth. Conner Nantkes took the lost giving up 7 earned runs in five innings bringing his record to 2-3.
Mar. 2. 13-2 Pima, 10-4 Eastern Arizona
The Aztecs took a trip to Thatcher Arizona to take on the Eastern Arizona Gila Monsters in a doubleheader on Mar. 2.
Pima jumped out in front early in the first inning 2-0 when when sophomore Enrique Porchas hit a two run double diving in Cole cumming and Rafael Padilla. Pima added a run in the tree inning on a Javier Nava fielder’s choice grounded out that drove in Padilla as he scored his second run of the game. However, the Gill Monster would not be denied their first conference win as they came storming back with a six run third inning, after the Aztecs removed Austin Bryan after two innings. Freshman Juan Pablo Ruedaflores took the lose in a relief appearance as he gave up four runs unanswered and seven runs overall in two and a three inning the Gill Monsters went on to win the game 10-4.
Pima made up for the lose in the second game as they went on to run rule the gila monster 13-2. Hayden Udall started the second game as he went on to win his team leading firth win. Udall tossed a complete game giving up two unearned run. Sophomore Fabian Ferreira came out swinging in the second game going 3-4 driving in five run.
Pima gets a week off as they returns to action on Mar: 16. They will play host to Western Oklahoma State College in a non-conference doubleheader that begins at noon.