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BASEBALL: Aztecs continue fire and ice trend

BASEBALL: Aztecs continue fire and ice trend

By: Rene Escobar

The Pima Community College baseball team (15-17, 6-14 conference) has shown a fire-and-ice trend as the team starts out hot but cools off as the game wears on.

“It’s a long season,” sophomore catcher Shawn Bracamontes said. “We’ll figure it out.”

March 4: PCC 8, Glendale 9/ PCC 2 Glendale CC 6

The Aztecs dropped their fourth straight game in a nail biter.

Sophomore Anthony Felix hit a two-run double to tie the game 4-4 in the bottom of the third.

Sophomore Manny Ramirez gave the Aztecs a short-lived lead in the fourth inning after he hit an RBI single.

The Aztecs fought back in the seventh inning to tie the game once more. Sophomore Oscar Larranaga hit an RBI double that scored pinch runner Jared Kromminga.

Heading into the top of the 11th inning, the game was knotted at 8 to 8.

The Aztecs still had a shot heading into the bottom of the inning. However they left the tying run on third base in the bottom of the 11th inning.

In the second game of the doubleheader, the Aztecs came out firing but lost momentum as the game played on.

March 7: PCC 2, GateWay 6/ PCC 1, GateWay 3

The first game was an offensive nightmare for the Aztecs, who scored two on four hits for the entire game.

In the second game of the doubleheader, the offensive struggles continued as the Aztecs managed one run on two hits. Aztec batters draw eight walks for the game.

March 11: PCC 2, Yavapai 4/ PCC 8, Yavapai 3

The Aztecs ended a sevengame free fall with a split in Prescott. Pima lost the first game of the doubleheader but won the second.

In game one, the Aztecs trailed early and were down by three in the third inning. They fought back in later innings but failed to take the lead, and managed just three hits for the game.

One swing broke the losing streak in game two.

With Pima trailing by two in the third, sophomore Erick Migueles hit a three-run homerun to spark his teammates.

“We needed it,” Echols said.

The Aztecs rode the energy given off by the homerun to add on another three runs in the fifth.

March 14: PCC 9, Monroe 2/ PCC 3, Monroe 7

The Aztecs drew first blood in the first inning, scoring three runs. They poured it on in the fourth to secure the lead for good.

The Aztecs drop the second game in a poor offensive performance, leaving 10 runners on base.

March 15: PCC 7, Mesa 3 The Aztecs took down No. 5

Mesa Community College in a makeup game from a rained-out exhibition on Feb. 18.

March 17: PCC 4, Madison 2

The Aztecs’ win streak continued as they defeated Madison at West Campus.

The team was down by two in the bottom of the sixth, but Migueles changed the complexion of the game with a triple to take the lead.

March 21: PCC 2, Scottsdale CC 6/ PCC 8, Scottsdale CC 4

The Artichokes took command in game one as they quickly amassed a 3-0 lead and widened it with three runs in the fifth.

Sophomore Miguel Figueroa took the loss, giving up six runs on seven hits, nine strike outs and two walks.

In game two, the Aztecs rallied to earn a split when Ramierz helped score three runs in the first inning and four more in the fourth.

Freshman Jose Contreras picked up the win giving up only four runs off seven hits, six strikeouts and two walks.

Photo by Rene Escobar

Redshirt freshman Austin Treadwell takes a pitch at West Campus against El Paso Community College

ATHLETIC VOICE: Tucson: Bye-bye baseball

ATHLETIC VOICE: Tucson: Bye-bye baseball

By RENE ESCOBAR

Baseball has not been played in Tucson since April of 2012 the last baseball club to call Tucson home were the Tucson Padres, Triple-A affiliate for Major League Baseball club San Diego Padres.

But will Kino Stadium remain empty through the baseball season? Not for long I say.

Tucson has always had a love affair with baseball from the Sidewinders to the Padres, so Tucsonans say.

But low attendance plagued the Padres throughout their 3 seasons at Kino Sports Stadium. According to Baseballrefrences.com the Padres attendance record for the 2013 season was only 4000 people the stadium holds 11,500 people.

The padres were a decent team there last year in Tucson (2013) they were Division Champions with a 77-67 record and playing for a Triple-A championship. Yet had little support from the people of Tucson.

MLB also gave Tucson Baseball fans a gut punch by pulling The Chicago White Sox, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Colorado Rockies and relocating them to Phoenix.

Due to logistic problems stating that the drive to Phoenix from Tucson was too long they want to be in the same general area.

These players and coaches don’t have an hour and a half bus ride segment in their multi-hundred million dollar contracts so they just moved to a city where they can walk to the stadiums. While leaving a city, who loves them behind with nothing but a newly renovated stadium.

None the less a baseball affiliate could see Tucson as legitimate location for their team with Major League Soccer preseason here and American Hockey League showcasing that Tucson has a love for sports.

Also, Tucson seems to be growing more and more companies are putting money into the economy making Tucson more likeable.

And when thinking about it what baseball club doesn’t want a newly renovated barley used stadium for their location of play.

To all baseball fans keep your heads high and keep the hope alive that one day we will have Tucson baseball alive again.

 

Desert Vista library re-opens

Desert Vista library re-opens

 

Nicholas Trujillo/Aztec Press Students work on assignments at the renovated library’s new Centers for Individualized Learning compartments.

By RENE ESCOBAR 

Pima Community College’s Desert Vista library has reopened after being closed 14 months for renovation. The college used federal Title V grant funds to pay for the $1 million project.

The renovated library exhibits a modern look with glass walls and open floor space. It features all-new furnishings, computers and outlet stations.

The library also gained areas called Centers for Individualized Learning, which are single seats where a student can work on assignments.

“I love the spacing for students,” retiring librarian Tony Arroyo said. “We are the smallest library of all five campuses, but since the remodel we do not have that many volumes of books.”

The renovation shrunk the amount of space used to display books, because of internet access reducing the need for print publications.

“We had to withdraw a lot of books,” Arroyo said. “Ninety-nine percent of our journals are now online rather than in hard copy.”

The redesign made space for conference rooms and student work areas. The conference rooms are compact but hold a table, seats and white boards.

Assistant librarian Anne Thames-Real said the renovation emphasized technology.

“It’s integrating to tech,” she said.

Students like the more technological and modern vibe.

“It’s a cool environment,” Ivan Medina said.

Fellow student John Rowe said, “I like it, it’s welcoming.”

Faculty members also praised the renovations.

“Beautiful, spacious area,” instructor Elizabeth Gooden said.

BASEBALL: Aztecs move above .500 for the season

BASEBALL: Aztecs move above .500 for the season

By RENE ESCOBAR

As the Pima Community College baseball team digs through the opening season schedule they face a 0.028 lower batting average than last year.

The Aztecs have 37 more games till their post season, after the Chandler-Gilbert game.

Sophomore Taylor Ferdinand throws a pitch against Phoenix College under the Kino Sports Complex lights.
Rene Escobar / Aztec Press

Feb. 18: PCC 5, Mesa 8

Manny Ramirez home runs as the Aztecs fall to No. 6 Mesa on Feb.18 at West Campus. In the first game, but weather permitted the second from being played and will be made up for a later date.

The Aztecs trailed 5-2 after the top of the third they cut into the deficit after a two-run RBI duble by Sophomore Erick Migueles. But could not capitalize with a runner on second with zero outs.

Feb. 21: PCC 0, Phoenix College 1 / PCC 2, Phoenix College 8

In the first double header of conference play, the Aztecs were swept by Phoenix at Kino Sports Complex.

Migueles started the Aztecs off strong in the second game of the double header with a solo home run.

Kino Sports Complex was the sight of the Tuesday night game “It’s awesome, great experience for the kids.” Assistant coach Ernie Durazo said.

Migueles finished the second game two for five along with a RBI and one scored run.

Sophomore Taylor Ferdinand had a dismal second game giving up five total runs, two of them earned he only pitched three and two thirds innings before being pulled.

He was replaced with sophomore Ernesto Romero, who allowed one earned run.

Feb. 24: PCC 7, Vancouver Island 0 / PCC 7, Vancouver Island 3

Aztecs get back on track posting back-to-back lucky sevens sweeping Vancouver Island University at West Campus.

Pitchers Jonathan Deeble and Andres Hackman combine for a shutout during the first game of the double header against Vancouver.

Migueles got the Aztecs on the board first in the first game with a RBI single. He would finish one for two at the plate.

In the second game the Aztecs were trailing by the third.

An offensive explosion rallied the team to the lead with a five run in the fourth inning to secure the win for the Aztecs.

Feb. 25: PCC 3, Paradise Valley 5 / PCC 3, Paradise Valley 1

Both games were tight contests as the Aztecs saw freshman pitcher Jose Contreras toss five strikeouts in a 3-1 win over Paradise Valley.

Freshman Isaac Lopez continued the pitching dominance earning the save with one strikeout.

In the first game the Aztecs cut the into the lead in the fourth inning, making the score 3-2. But Paradise Valley halted the come back by scoring two runs.

In the second game the Aztecs provided just enough offense to take the lead and pitching kept the lead for the Aztecs.

Sophomore Oscar Larranaga finished the second game with two RBIs going two for four at the plate.

Freshman Marcus Mendez went two for three at the plate with two runs scored.

Migueles finished the game one for four with an RBI along with a solo home run.

Freshman Gage O’Brien pitched for two innings with two strike outs and three walks.


ON DECK

March 4: Glendale CC, West Campus, doubleheader, noon, 2:30 p.m.

March 7: GateWay CC, Kino Memorial Stadium, doubleheader, 4 p.m., 6:30 p.m. March 11: at Yavapai College, Prescott, doubleheader, noon, 2:30 p.m.

March 14: Monroe CC, Kino Memorial Stadium, doubleheader, noon, 2:30 p.m.

March 17: Madison Area Technical College, West Campus, noon

March 21: at Scottsdale CC, doubleheader, noon, 2:30 p.m.

March 23: Mexico, Kino Memorial Stadium, 11 a.m.

BASEBALL: Aztecs go even in four-game series

BASEBALL: Aztecs go even in four-game series

By: RENE ESCOBAR

The Pima Community College baseball team trounced its way into the season, picking up three straight wins against the University of Arizona Club team.

 

Feb. 3: PCC 2, El Paso 5 /

PCC 14, El Paso 8

In the first game, the Aztecs scored their only two runs in the second inning.

“It’s one game,” assistant coach Britt Echols said. “We have another coming up. We’ll get it next game.”

The Aztecs trailed El Paso 8-1 in the bottom of the third. They scored in three consecutive innings to tie the game, then sealed it with runs in the seventh and eighth innings.

 

Feb. 4: PCC 0, El Paso 3 /

PCC 5, El Paso 0

On the second day, El Paso shut out the Aztecs. Four errors, mixed with four hits throughout the game doomed PCC.

After the dismal loss, PCC answered back with a shutout of their own. The Aztecs brought in two runs in the first inning, two more runs in the third and one more in the fifth.

 

Feb. 11: PCC 3, Scottsdale 2 /

PCC 3, Scottsdale 2

The conference opener saw sophomore Manny Ramirez hit a walk off to steal the win.

The Aztecs first scored off an error to go up 1-0.

Scottsdale answered back with a two-run home run. Freshman Martin Garcia and sophomore Oscar Larranaga hit back-to-back singles leading up to Ramirez’s theft. Down 2-1 in the ninth, the Aztecs capitalized on a wild pitch to finish their two-game series.

 

Feb. 14: PCC 2, GateWay 5/

PCC 4, GateWay 5

The Aztecs’ traveled to Phoenix for their first season road game on Feb. 14.

Valentine’s Day was not sweet as the Aztecs were swept in a doubleheader against GateWay

In the first game, they mustered two runs, scoring in the first inning. In the second, they went up 4-0 in the first inning but their on-fire offense was smothered, as they were unable to score again in a 5-4 loss.


ON DECK

Feb. 18: Mesa CC, West Campus, noon & 2:30 p.m.

Feb. 21: Phoenix College, Kino Memorial Stadium, 4p.m. & 6:30 p.m.

Feb. 24: White Rock Tritons (Canada), West Campus, noon & 2:30 p.m.

Feb. 25: Paradise Valley CC, Phoenix, noon & 2:30 p.m.

Feb. 28: Chandler-Gilbert CC, Kino Memorial stadium, 4 p.m. & 6:30 p.m.

 

Pima Community College player Martin Garcia awaits a pitch from El Paso in the third game on Feb. 4. The Aztecs lost the game by three runs.
Rene Escobarb/Aztec Press

Which pro dunk was best?

Which pro dunk was best?

Rene Escobar

By RENE ESCOBAR

The NBA Slam Dunk Contest, one of the greatest athletic competitions, will feature the best dunkers the league has to offer on Feb. 18 in New Orleans.

The dunk contest has showcased some of the most spectacular feats in sports, but which was the greatest ever?

We’re not talking one dunk but competition as a whole, from final contestants to star power.

Some defining moments will not be included in this debate. They include:

  • 2009, when the little man, 5-foot-9-inch Nate Robinson, jumped over 6-foot-11-inch Dwight Howard.
  • 2011’s car jump by Blake Griffin.
  • Michael Jordan’s dunk from the free throw line in 1988.
  • The no-look dunk by Dee Brown in 1991.

Only two contests come to mind: the ones in 2000 and 2016.

2000 featured the two best dunkers the NBA had to offer, cousins Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady. They dueled it out with flashy awe-inspiring dunks.

Carter assisted McGrady with a bounce into a windmill dunk.

Carter answered back with the game-changing dunk, his famous arm-through-the-hoop dunk that scored a perfect 50.

2000 propelled Carter to stardom. The dunks he displayed helped advance his reputation, and he’s now acknowledged as the greatest dunker in NBA history.

The 2000 contest made the NBA’s All-Star Weekend a must-watch, something that Jordan and Dominique Wilkins could not accomplish in 1987.

Last year’s contest featured a finals duel for the ages, showcasing Zach LaVine and the University of Arizona’s own Aaron Gordon.

The two traded perfect scores like heavyweight boxers trading haymakers.

Gordon rocked the rim with a middle-of-the-air sitting dunk over a mascot. LaVine shot back with a windmill from the free throw line.

LaVine made the deciding shot with a through-the-legs dunk.

The 2016 contest gets my vote for the best of all time. It did not have the star power of 2000, but the finale came down to one dunk. Drama was present, and the participants displayed amazing creativity.

This year’s contest has potential to become one of the greatest ever.

New names have lots to live up to, and must make the most of their opportunities to prove themselves in the Crescent City.

Which Slam Dunk Contest gets your vote for best ever? Comment down below!