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
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.
By CASEY MUSE JR
The Pima Community College men’s basketball team has won five of their last six games and is finding consistency on both ends of the court as they inch closer to postseason play. The team is all about staying together and filling their roles.
Feb. 4: PCC 111, Eastern Arizona 100
The Aztecs were able to pick up a conference win in Thatcher against Eastern Arizona.
Both teams were hot on offense in the first half as the game was tied 55-55 at the break.
Pima was able to tighten up its defense just enough in the second half and the offense didn’t falter down the stretch for the 111-100 result.
Sophomore Emilio Acedo was on fire from three-point range, making eight, on his way to a team high 36 points.
Sophomore Deion James came up with 26 points and nine rebounds and fellow sophomore Damon Dubots scored 23 points. Freshman Isaiah Murphy added 16 points and seven rebounds off of the bench.
The Aztecs swept Eastern Arizona this season as they won a home meeting with the Gila Monsters 94-88 in December.
Feb. 8: PCC 121, South Mountain CC 92
Pima was able to play a dominant first half in a home contest against South Mountain.
South Mountain used a 26-9 run in the second half to close the gap to eight points. That was as close as it got as the Aztecs responded with a 22-10 run of their own regaining control for good.
James accumulated his 14th double-double of the season with a team high 29 points and 12 rebounds. Acedo had another big night scoring 28 points on seven three-point shots.
Murphy and Dubots each added 16 points. The result was another season sweep for Pima as they took the previous meeting in Phoenix, 116-84.
Feb. 11: PCC 76, Scottsdale CC 73
Pima had a strong second half to come back against Scottsdale Community College on the road. It was a low scoring game throughout, as the Aztecs struggled to find consistent offense in the first half. The result was a 41-35 deficit for PCC at the break.
Freshmen Ilunga Moise and Alize Travis provided a much needed spark off of the bench in the second half as they combined for 29 points. Moise earned a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds and Travis contributed 15 points and four assists.
“The style of play has been working well.” Travis said. “We like to get out and run and we have some guys who can fill it up so I’ve just been trying to put them in the best position to get easy shots.”
Murphy led the team in scoring with 18 points as well as nine rebounds.
The win tallied another season sweep for the Aztecs as they won their home meeting with the Artichokes 108-83 last month.
“We have been playing well as a unit over the last three games.” Travis explained. “Executing the game plan has been our focus and as the season is coming to an end we are looking forward to keeping the momentum but we still have a lot of work to do.”
Feb. 18: at Phoenix College, 4 p.m.
Feb. 22: Central Arizona, West Cmapus, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 25: at Mesa CC, 4p.m.
Feb. 28: Arizona Western, West Campus, 7:30 p.m.
By STEVEN FOWLER
The Pima Community College baseball team (30-26, 17-23 in ACCAC) saw its regular season come to a close on April 30 after a doubleheader series split against Chandler-Gilbert Community College at the West Campus.
Despite finishing above .500, it was a rough season for the Aztecs as they were unable to win doubleheaders.
In the first game, the Aztecs’ bats were inconsistent despite scoring three runs. Chandler-Gilbert capitalized early by scoring three runs in the first and third inning and one in the sixth.
PCC broke the shutout in the sixth when sophomore Hunter Green, who went 2-for-3, hit an RBI double. Freshman Manny Ramirez followed Green with another RBI double to score Green.
Freshman Andres Hackman went two and two-thirds allowing six runs.
In the second game against the Coyotes, Pima’s bats erupted in a 13-5 victory despite trailing 3-0 entering the bottom of the sixth. Green, who anchored the offense in the first game, and sophomore Francisco Rodriguez hit back-to-back RBI singles. Fellow sophomore David Oropeza hit an RBI single making it a 7-4 game. PCC scored nine runs in the next two innings to seal the victory.
In a doubleheader against Glendale Community College on April 26, the Aztecs were swept at the West Campus. In the first game, Glendale mercy-ruled Pima 13-2 in five innings as they were held to two runs on seven hits. Sophomore Ivan Estrella and Green each went 2-for-3.
In the second game, the Aztecs and Gauchos fought back-and-forth into extra innings. Sophomore Xander Carrilo blew the tied-game in the 12th and Pima failed to score in the bottom half of the inning and lost 9-8. Felix led the team with five hits in six at-bats.
On April 23, Pima hosted a doubleheader matchup against Phoenix College at the West Campus. In game one, the Aztecs surrendered three runs in the top of the seventh as Carrillo gave up a game-tying two-run shot to even things up at three apiece. Fellow freshman Jake Roberson blew the lead as he surrendered an RBI walk giving Phoenix a 4-3 lead, the final score.
The second game, a win for the Aztecs, didn’t come easy in a high scoring affair. Down 10-8 in the bottom of the ninth, Estrella began the PCC’s rally with a leadoff single. With a hit by Sophomore Ryan Ramsower and a later error, the game was tied at 10. Freshman Oscar Larranaga was the hero of the game as he hit a sac-fly to deep-right field that scored freshman Max Whitehead to win the game 11-10.
Freshman Kristian Samorano picked up his second win in relief as he pitched the ninth inning with one strikeout and one walk. Freshman starter Miguel Figueroa pitched five and two-third innings giving up six runs (five earned) on seven hits with six strikeouts and four walks.
As the season came to an end, Pima will need to go to the drawing board and find the best ball players that can win games.
By STEVEN FOWLER
The Pima Community College baseball squad (28-20, 15-17 in ACCAC) earned a series split against the No. 8 ranked Mesa Community College at home on April 16.
In the first game against the Thunderbirds, PCC was shutout despite a lone hit by freshman Anthony Felix who hit an infield single in the first inning. Freshman Andres Hackman (7-2) went the distance on the mound in a complete-game loss while allowing four runs.
In the second game, PCC responded by putting up an eight spot in the third inning and scoring four more in the fourth, Felix and sophomore Frankie Ortiz each hit two-run RBI singles. PCC split another doubleheader, this time against Arizona Christian University (JV) on April 12. In a pitching duel, the Aztecs faltered in game one as pitcher Daniel Tolano did not receive run support. Sophomore David Oropeza reached base on an error that scored sophomore Hunter Green who went 1-for-3 at the plate.
In a 14-4 mercy rule win in the second game, PCC erupted early and scored in all six innings except for the third. Ortiz homered and finished 3-for-4 with three RBI.
In a doubleheader split against Arizona Western on April 9, Hackman threw a complete-game while giving up two runs and four strikeouts. Oropeza went 2-for-3 with a run scored. In the second game, Pima blew a 3-0 lead in the fourth as the Matadors scored the go-ahead run.
In a doubleheader split at Central Arizona College, the Aztecs were held to one run on four hits in a 6-1 loss. Freshman Manny Ramirez broke the shutout with a homerun in the seventh. In game two, PCC won 14-13 in 11 innings. Sophomore Francisco Rodriguez finished 4 for 4 with two RBI and two runs scored.
By STEVEN FOWLER
The Pima Community College’s baseball team (24-16, 12-14 in ACCAC) returned to West Campus on April 2, where they hosted a doubleheader against the Cochise College Apaches.
Like they have in their two previous doubleheader series, Pima split the doubleheader matchup.
In game one, the Aztecs lost 7-2 after a rough first two innings allowing six runs.
Freshman Andrew Hackman (6-1) received his first loss of the season after three and two-third innings on the mound.
In the second game, Pima and Cochise were tied 1-1 in the seventh but the Aztecs scored three go-ahead runs.
Freshmen Myles Moran and Oscar Larranga each hit RBI singles. Freshman Miguel Figueroa picked up the win after pitching seven innings of two-run ball.
PCC traveled to Eastern Arizona College on March 29 where they split a doubleheader matchup in what were high scoring affairs.
In the first game, Pima lost 15-10. After holding on to an early 3-0 lead in the first inning.
The Gila Monsters scored seven runs in the third, and eight total in the fifth and sixth inning.
However, Eastern Arizona was too much and Pima failed to come back. In five innings, sophomore
Daniel Tolano allowed an eye-popping 12 runs on nine hits and nine walks.
In the second game, the Aztecs avoided a sweep by winning 12-7. Pima struck in the fourth as they plated eight runs.
Sophomore Ryan Ramsower and freshman Manny Ramirez each hit two-run homers. Freshman Ernesto Romero (4-1) earned the win after pitching six and one-third innings.
The Aztecs hosted a doubleheader match up against South Mountain Community College on March 26.
In the first game, Pima’s bats erupted early to earn a 12-2 in a five inning mercy rule game.
Pima made its presence felt in the third inning with five runs scored.
Sophomore Al Cruz crushed two-run home runs in two at-bats, including one in the fourth.
Sophomore Jacob Northrup added to the hit parade as he also hit a towering two-run bomb.
After throwing a complete game, Hackman allowed two runs on four hits.
In the second game of the doubleheader, Pima dropped a sour one as they allowed 10 runs in a 10-4 loss.
Holding a 2-2 tie entering the eighth inning, South Mountain blew the game wide as they managed to plate eight runs in the eighth inning.
While failing to make any sort of come back, the Aztecs scored two runs in the bottom half of the inning.
Figueroa allowed three runs on five hits and three walks.
On March 25, Pima added to their win total with yet another shutout, a 10-0 mercy rule-win, this time against Monroe Community College of New York.
Freshman Jacob Roberson earned his first win of his Aztecs’ career after an electrifying three-hit shutout across five innings. Sophomore David Oropeza continued with a two-run single.
Ramsower contributed with an additional hit, a two-run double. Sophomore Ivan Estrella went 3-for-4 at the dish with two runs scored.
Two days later, PCC was back in action aiming to break a seven-game skid where they went 1-6.
The Aztecs faced the White Rock Tritons of Canada on March 23 at the West Campus.
The Aztecs dominated early and never looked back in a 17-0 win over the Tritons in seven innings.
On the mound, Romero threw a complete-game four-hit shutout and topped that off with an eye-popping eight strikeouts.
Behind Romero, sophomore Fransisco Rodriguez went 2-for-2 at the plate with two RBI and three runs scored. Ramirez had three hits in four plate appearances, including two doubles and two RBI.
Oropeza contributed to the hit parade as he went 3-for-4.
The Aztecs continue their home stand when rival Arizona Western College comes to the West Campus for a doubleheader at noon on April 9.
Following the series, Pima travels to Arizona Christian University on April 12.
By STEVEN FOWLER
The Pima Community College baseball team lost two games against Scottsdale Community College on March 22.
The Aztecs were behind 12-5 at the end of the fourth inning and ended up losing 13-8 after an attempted comeback.
Pima lost the second game 12-2 with the Artichokes taking another early lead in the second inning with five runs.
Pima won one of two games March 17 against South Mountain Community College and Seminole State College.
The Aztecs lost a tough matchup against South Mountain 5-2 after blowing an early 2-0 lead.
Sophomore Daniel Tolano, who pitched three and one-third innings, allowed four runs on five walks and two hits.
In game two, the Aztecs avenged their loss by defeating Seminole State 7-4. Despite falling behind in the fourth inning, PCC responded with six runs including a two-run double by sophomore Al Cruz.
The Aztecs lost 11-2 in a home game against Cochise College on March 15.
PCC’s bats were shut down through six innings. Entering the seventh, sophomore Hunter Green put Pima on the board with a RBI triple. In the eighth, sophomore Jacob Northrup drew a walk that loaded the bases but his team wasn’t able to capitalize.
On the mound in relief, freshman Ernesto Romero went three and two-third innings, allowing four runs on four hits and three walks. Green finished 2-for-4 at the plate with an RBI while freshman Frankie Ortiz went 1-for-1 with a run scored.
PCC split a doubleheader against Yavapai College in an ACCAC conference matchup at the West Campus on March 12.
The Aztecs took game one, winning 6-5. In the ninth inning, Pima held a 4-1 lead but Yavapai scored five runs to take a 5-4 lead. The Aztecs put the game behind them after scoring two runs.
Ramirez went 2-for-4 with four RBIs. Sophomore Ryan Ramsower went 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored.
In game two, PCC lost to the Roughriders 8-4. The Aztecs took a 3-2 lead in the second inning and scored once in the eighth. Ramirez and Ramsower led the team with two hits apiece. Freshman Miguel Figueroa took the loss.
March 25: Monroe CC, West Campus, 2 p.m.
March 26: South Mountain CC, West Campus, doubleheader, noon, 2:30 p.m.
March 29: @ Eastern Arizona College, doubleheader, noon, 2:30 p.m.
April 2: Cochise College, West Campus, doubleheader, noon, 2:30 p.m.
April 5: @ Central Arizona College, doubleheader, noon, 2:30 p.m.
By STEVEN FOWLER
Pima Community College baseball (16-7, 7-7 in ACCAC) split a two-game set on the road against Glendale Community College on March 5.
In game one, the Aztecs were unable to rally after a 6-0 deficit in the fifth and lost 7-3. Freshman Anthony Felix went 1-for-3 and scored on a throwing error while sophomore Marcus Catalano drove in a run on an RBI single.
Freshman Miguel Figueroa (1-3) took the lost after allowing six runs on seven hits and two walks.
“Playing good defense behind our great pitching was definitely a strength, giving our offense a chance to be aggressive and score some runs,” sophomore Ivan Estrella said.
In the second game, PCC’s bats exploded for 10 runs in the ninth inning following a 3-3 tie entering the inning.
Sophomore Ryan Ramsower broke the tie with an RBI single, and drove in two runs on a single later in the inning. Freshman Oscar Larranga contributed with an RBI single.
Sophomore Xander Carrillo pitched three shutout innings later in the game. Sophomore Daniel Tolano, who started the game, threw six innings of three-run ball on eight hits, two walks and three strikeouts.
For the first time this season, the Aztecs swept its first ACCAC conference doubleheader matchup at Chandler-Gilbert Community College on March 1.
In game one, the Aztecs scored four runs, including a solo shot by Felix and a triple by sophomore Ryan Ramsower.
Sophomore Jacob Northrup hit a two-run RBI double that plated Catalano and sophomore Francisco Rodriguez to make it 5-2.
In the fourth inning, Estrella hit a triple and later scored on an RBI sacrifice-fly. Freshman Manny Ramirez hit a leadoff solo homerun to make it 7-2.
Freshman Trevelle Hill lasted six innings allowing three earned runs on six hits. Tolano earned the save despite allowing a run on three hits in the 7-4 win.
In game two, PCC earned a tight 10-7 victory. The Aztecs got off to an early 4-0 lead behind RBI singles by freshman Myles Moran and Ramirez in the third inning. Leading 5-2 in the sixth, Catalano drove in two runs on a double. Along with his RBI, Ramirez went 2-for-3 with two walks and a run scored.
Freshman Andrew Hackman improved to 5-0 on the season despite allowing five runs on seven hits in five innings. Figueroa picked up his third save this season after allowing one run in one and two-third innings pitched.
“As a team, I still feel we are doing good,” sophomore Al Cruz said. “We’ve been hitting well, just haven’t had those timely hits in crucial situations, but I feel those will come.”
PCC dropped both games in a doubleheader against Paradise Valley Community College on Feb. 27.
In the first game, the Aztecs were unable to get their offense rolling. Figueroa allowed three runs on eight hits and four walks in six and one-third innings pitched.
Despite PCC tying the game in the sixth inning, Paradise Valley answered with two go-ahead runs in the seventh. Felix drove in sophomore David Oropeza on a pop-fly for the team’s lone run and the Aztecs lost 3-1.
In game two, PCC’s bats were unable to work their magic. Pima lost 7-2 .
Rodriguez and Ramsower were key contributors as both drove in runs. Tolano took the loss after pitching five innings and allowing five runs on six hits.
“It was a tough day for me on the mound,” Tolano said. “I just didn’t have my off speed. I just tried to locate my fastball but I was a little off.”
PCC traveled March 8 to play a doubleheader against GateWay Community College. The games took place after Aztec Press went to the printer. To view game statistics, visit pimaaztecs.com.
March 12: Yavapai College
doubleheader, West Campus, noon, 2:30 p.m.
March 15: Cochise College,
West Campus, 2 p.m.
March 17: @ South Mountain CC, vs. Seminole State College, doubleheader 1 p.m., 3:30 p.m.
March 23: White Rock Tritons Baseball Club (Canada), West Campus, 2 p.m.
By STEVEN FOWLER
The Pima Community College baseball team (12-3, 3-3 in ACCAC) has gone 3-3 since Feb. 9 and remains toward the top of the standings in community college play behind (15-0) Central Arizona College and (14-2) Mesa Community College.
“We like to take the positive and build on that,” sophomore Al Cruz said. “We definitely have the bats and pitching to get the job done.”
A Feb. 23 doubleheader at Phoenix College took place after Aztec Press went to the printer.
On Feb. 9, the streaking Aztecs ball club, backed by its offense, beat the University of Arizona Club team 11-1 at the West Campus.
Freshman pitcher Trevelle Hill earned his second win of the season after throwing five innings of shutout ball. Freshman Jake Robertson closed out the 8th and final inning to beat UA.
Cruz finished the game 2-for-3 with three RBI while fellow sophomore Marcus Catalano drove in three additional runs.
In a doubleheader on Feb. 13 against Scottsdale Community College, the Aztecs won their 10th consecutive game 3-0 behind a four-hit complete-game shutout by sophomore pitcher Daniel Tolano. He was named ACCAC Division II Pitcher of the Week.
In the second game, however, the Aztecs’ pitching was bombarded by Scottsdale’s bats and Pima lost 11-1. Freshman pitcher Ernesto Romero received the loss after allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits.
PCC split a heavily contested doubleheader against GateWay Community College on Feb. 16.
In the first game, sophomore Jacob Northrup hit a leadoff single, which began a short rally that would eventually put the Aztecs up 2-1 in the third inning. The Aztecs blew the lead after a two-run double by the Geckos in the fourth inning.
In the second game, the Aztecs mercy-ruled GateWay. Pima’s offense exploded for nine runs in the fifth inning. Catalano went 2-for-3 with three RBI.
“I was glad to come through with that two-out bases-clearing double,” Catalano said. “I think that opened the game up and helped everyone loosen up and just have fun.”
Sophomore Ivan Estrella had two hits. Freshman Hunter Green pitched a seven-inning complete game for his third win of the season.
“I was seeing the ball well all day,” Estrella said. “We knew we were facing two lefties in both games, so during batting practice we hit off of a left hander to get dialed in.”
Pima split the doubleheader against No. 10 Mesa Community College on Feb. 20.
In the first game, freshman Miguel Figueroa received the loss after replacing Tolano. Estrella drove in two runs while Green went 2-for-3 with a run.
After trailing 6-0 through four innings in the second game, the Aztecs rallied for five runs in the fifth inning and later padded their lead with four runs in the ninth.
Freshman Anthony Felix went 2-for-4 with three RBI while sophomore Ryan Ramsower hit a two-run blast in the fifth inning.
“We responded in the second game after being down by six, and that really showed how we never give up and we just rallied to come back and win,” Cruz said.
Feb. 27: Paradise Valley CC doubleheader, West Campus, noon and 2:30 p.m.
March 1: doubleheader @ Chandler-Gilbert CC, noon and 2:30 p.m.
March 5: doubleheader @ Glendale CC,
noon and 2:30 p.m.
March 8: doubleheader @ GateWay CC,
noon and 2:30 p.m.
By STEVEN FOWLER
The Pima Community College’s baseball team (9-0) is off to an unprecedented start after opening 2016 with dominating series sweeps against Utah State University-Eastern on Jan. 29-30 and El Paso Community College on Feb. 5-6 at the West Campus.
In game one, the Aztecs dominated Eastern 13-0 in a five-inning win. Right-hander Daniel Tolano earned the win after pitching a no-hitter and striking out eight batters on 65 pitches.
“We have started the season the way we wanted to. I feel like the no-hitter gave our staff the motivation to do good,” Tolano said. “I wasn’t really thinking about it on the mound. I just when out there and tried my best to execute every pitch.”
In game two, Pima won 12-2 in seven innings behind a complete game win by freshman left-hander Ernesto Romero.
Despite missing a home run short of the cycle, Ramsower finished 4-for-5 with two RBI.
“The main difference is that this year’s team has many returning sophomores,” sophomore Ivan Estrella said.
On Jan. 30, the Aztecs hosted another double-header against Utah State University-Eastern.
In game one, the Aztecs won 5-0. Freshman right-hander Trevelle Hill allowed three hits, seven strikeouts and no walks in a complete game
In the second game, the Aztecs won 18-3. Freshman right-hander Andres Hackman earned his first win of the season after pitching three innings and allowing two runs.
“We have a loaded lineup top to bottom and some solid arms in the pitching rotation,” Northrup said.
In the first game against El Paso, PCC won 10-2 in seven innings.
Tolano followed his no-hitter with a complete game win.
The second game against El Paso was the team’s toughest competition of the season despite winning 5-4.
Romero threw five and one-third innings and earned the win.
“The atmosphere is great right now,” Northrup said.” It’s important to get off to a good start early on in the season.
Feb. 9: University of Arizona club team, West Campus, 2 p.m.
Feb. 13: @ Glendale CC, noon & 2 p.m.
Feb. 16: South Mountain CC, West Campus, 1 p.m. & 3 p.m.
Feb. 20 @ Phoenix College, noon & 2 p.m.
Feb. 23 @ Paradise Valley CC, 1 p.m. 3 p.m.
By STEVEN FOWLER
Pima Community College’s baseball team aims to rebound from a dismal 2015 season after finishing with a 24-27 overall record and 17-23 in conference play.
After dropping the first two games last season to South Mountain Community College, the Aztecs were hit-and-miss throughout the season and missed the playoffs.
However, the 2016 season could lead to a different direction.
Despite several key losses from players during the offseason, returning players will have a tremendous impact.
“I feel our intensity is high and as a team, we have high expectations for success this season,” sophomore right-handed pitcher Daniel Tolano said.
Tolano hopes to capitalize on an electric first season. With 40.2 innings pitched in 19 games under his belt, Tolano finished with a 3-3 record with one save and a 2.66 earned run average.
Fellow sophomore and left-handed pitcher Justin Hammergren helped anchor the rotation, where he started 10 games while pitching across 60 innings. Hammergren finished his first season with a 4.79 ERA and a team-leading 58 strikeouts.
Sophomore left-hand pitcher Vinnie Tarantola, who split time playing at first base, pitched in 16 games and compiled a 4-5 record in 57 innings pitched to go along with a 6.63 ERA.
Across the field, sophomore infielder Ivan Estrella returns to the lineup. Last season, Estrella finished in the top three in nearly every offensive category including games (51), at-bats (162), runs (39), hits (57) and batting average (.352).
Returning catcher Jacob Northrup is primed to become Pima’s next starting catcher after splitting time with sophomore Ruben Bracamontes last season.
Al Cruz, the first baseman and designated hitter, is another impact player.
In 39 games last season, Cruz, a .266 hitter, collected 29 hits while crushing two home runs and driving in 19 runs.
In the outfield, sophomores David Oropeza, Zach Gadway, Ryan Neter, Shane Bradford and others will play to earn their way into starting positions.
Incoming freshmen will have the opportunity to start over their elder-statesmen if they play well enough.
Going into the 2016 season, head coach Jason Hisey and his assistants have a better idea of who deserves the opportunity to start.
“We have a full ball program where we play 20 games, so we find out a little bit about them there,” Hisey said. “Then we come out of the winter to see who’s eligible to play and we have these three weeks, so it’s ongoing.”
With the season opener looming, Hisey is hopeful for what the season will bring.
“We’re just trying to get better every day and stay healthy,” he said. “We’ll see what happens at the end.”
The Aztecs open the season with a nine-game home stand, starting with a four-game series against Utah State University Eastern at the West Campus.
By CALEB FOSTER
The Pima Community College baseball team (24-27, 17-23 in ACCAC) ended its season being swept on the road against Chandler-Gilbert Community College on April 25.
The Aztecs found it increasingly difficult at the end of the season to grind out wins as they lost 12 of their last 15 games.
The Aztecs dropped their first game as Chandler-Gilbert rallied late for a 10-8 win.
Down by three in the fourth, sophomore Trey Stine scored sophomore Devin Harrison on a single and freshman Ryan Ramsower scored on an error to bring the Aztecs within one.
Harrison belted a double in the fifth, which scored sophomore Jaquese Moore to tie the game at 7-7.Ivan Estrella followed that up with an RBI single to score Harrison and give Pima the lead.
Pima was unable to put any more runs as Chandler-Gilbert scored three unanswered runs to nab the late-game win.
Freshman Vinnie Tarantola (4-5) pitched two and two-third innings giving up three runs as he produced two strikeouts and three walks.
The Aztecs struck early in the second game but after the first inning they went silent on offense in the 3-2 loss.
Tarantola hit a two-run RBI single in the first inning, allowing Pima to jump out to an early lead. Stine and Ramsower scored on the play.
After the first inning, Pima’s offense became nonexistent. They finished the game with only two more hits.
Chandler-Gilbert scored late in the game, scoring in the seventh and eighth innings.
Sophomore Chris Kucko (5-7) took the loss while pitching a complete game. He gave up three runs and produced six strikeouts and three walks.
Although they missed the postseason Moore a center fielder for the Aztecs gained recognition as a nominee for the ACCAC Division II Golden Glove Award.
Moore, who played in 51 games made only two errors this season. He recorded 124 put-outs and added six assists to his defensive resume.
He was dominant running bases for the Aztecs with a team high 18 steals. Moore finished the season with a .338 batting average, producing 16 RBIs for his team.
By CALEB FOSTER
The Pima Community College baseball team (24-25, 17-21 in ACCAC) has been on a slippery slope dropping 11 of their last 14 games. The Aztecs have found themselves fighting for the No. 4 spot one game behind Scottsdale Community College.
The Aztecs finally got a win as they split at Glendale Community College on April 1.
The Aztecs won the first game 7-1 with the help of freshman Ryan Ramsower who went 4 for 4 with six RBIs.
Freshman Daniel Tolano (3-3) thew seven strikeouts in the win giving up only one run.
Pima was unable to catch up in the second game as the fell 9-7.
Down 8-1 in the eighth sophomore Ruben Bracamontes hit a three-run homer to try and get the ball rolling for Pima.
Sophomore Trey Stine hit a RBI in the ninth but that was it for Pima as the next three batters struck out ending the game.
Freshman Justin Hammergren (4-4) took the loss pitching five innings and throwing three strikeouts and three walks.
The Aztecs gave up both games on the road during their doubleheader against Phoenix College on April 18th.
The first game ended in a 3-1 loss with the only run coming from a solo home run by Freshman Vinnie Tarantola.
Sophomore Chris Kucko (4-7) threw six innings with three strikeouts and two walks giving up three runs in the loss.
The second game was much more offense oriented as Pima’s rally late in the game but ultimately lost 11-9.
Tarantola helped to try and rally the Aztecs with a grand slam in the seventh. Tarantola went 1 for 2 with four RBIs. Freshman Al Cruz ended the game 3 for 4 with an RBI and three runs scored.
Sophomore Roy Aguirre (5-3) pitched the loss giving up nine run and throwing four strikeouts and four walks.
The Aztecs dropped their last home doubleheader of the regular season against Paradise Valley Community College on April 14.
Up early in the game the Aztecs let it slip away in the eighth to lose 5-4. Sophomore Trevor Johnson hit an early solo home run finishing the game 1 for 3.
Stine went 2 for 4 hitting an RBI single in the third.
Tolano threw five innings giving up three runs and producing five strikeouts. Kucko (4-6) closed out the game for the Aztecs taking the loss without a strikeout.
The second game slipped away from the Aztecs early on and kept sliding as the fell to Paradise Valley 14-1.
Johnson went 1 for 2 hitting Pima’s only RBI of the game. Sophomore Jaquese Moore finished 1 for 3 with a run scored.
Tarantola (4-4) gave up six runs on seven hits producing two strikeouts and two walks.
The Aztecs broke a six-game losing streak with a sweep at No. 3 Mesa Community College on April 11. Pima has won three of the four games they have played against Mesa.
The Aztecs took the first game with a 9-5 victory propelled by a strong fourth inning that produced seven runs.
Stine hit a solo home run in the fourth followed by a two run RBI single later in the game. Stine finished the game 3 for 3 with a run scored and four RBIs.
Hammergren (4-3) pitched five innings and grabbed the win for the Aztecs with five strikeouts and four walks.
Kucko closed out the game pitching the last one and one-third inning throwing one strikeout and one walk.
In the Aztecs’ second game they came back from a 4-1 deficit to win 6-4.
Down by three in the seventh Bracamontes hit a groundout RBI to get the Aztecs on track. Bracamontes finished 2 for 4 with two RBIs.
In the eighth Cruz hit a two-run RBI single to level the score followed Bracamontes RBI single to put Pima ahead.
Moore finished the inning with a RBI double to take the victory.
Tarantola (4-3) threw three and two-thirds innings giving up one run and throwing one strikeout and one walk.
Kucko finished his second game of the day earning the save as he pitched the last two innings giving up one hit and producing one strikeout.
April 25: @ Chandler-Gilbert CC, Chandler, noon
April 30-May 2: NJCAA Region 1 Playoffs, TBA, TBA
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
By ALFRED DICOCHEA III
The Pima Community College baseball team (21-14, 14-10 in ACCAC)
The Aztecs would finally swept a doubleheader as they routed Eastern Arizona College on March 24.
In game one, Pima beat EAC in a shutout 10-0 win in six innings. The Aztecs 10-0 win is the first time all year they’ve won by a shutout. The Pima win also gets them back on the winning track after losing the game before.
Sophomore Roy Aguirre (5-1) would get the win after pitching a complete game.
Pima in game two would blowout EAC again, as they won 9-1. Sophomore Chris Kucko (4-4) also pitched a complete game. Kucko picked up his fourth win of the year.
The Aztecs traveled to Phoenix to play South Mountain Community College on March 21. Pima and SMCC would split their double header with each other.
The Aztecs took game one as they beat SMCC 8-2. Freshman Justin Hammergren would pick up the win (3-1) after pitching five innings. Pima dropped the second game to SMCC 6-8. Freshman Vinnie Tarantola took the loss (3-2) after pitching six innings.
On March 20, Pima beat Madison Area Technical College in a close one 3-2. Sophomore Trevor Johnson (1-0) would get the win after his ninth inning strikeout to finish the game. Pima used six pitchers to take the win from MATC.
The Aztecs split a doubleheader against Scottsdale Community College on March 17. The competition marked their first conference games since March 7.
Pima won the first game 9-1 after scoring six runs in the fifth inning to put the game out of reach. Aguirre pitched a complete game and picked up the win.
The Aztecs came up short in the second game, losing 3-2. Kucko pitched a complete game but took the loss.
Freshman Marcus Catalano hit a two-run RBI in the sixth to spark a comeback attempt, and produced five RBIs for the series.
Over Spring Break, Pima hosted five non-conference games.
Pima beat White Rock (Canada) 15-5 in seven innings on March 16. Sophomore Mike Hast (2-0) got the win after pitching five innings. Freshman Daniel Tolano earned the save in two hitless innings.
On March 14, the Aztecs played Monroe Community College and Arizona Western College.
Pima beat Monroe 8-3. Hammergren (2-1) got the win after pitching eight innings.
The Aztecs lost to AWC, 9-7. After being down five, Pima went up 7-5 in the seventh inning but AWC rallied to earn the win.
On March 13, Pima faced off against Northeastern Junior College (Colorado), and won 17-8 after racking up eight runs in the first inning. The game was called early due to darkness. Sophomore Ryan Norrix got the start, and Tolano earned the win pitching relief.
The Aztecs earned a 12-2 win in eight innings against Douglas College (Canada) on March 12.
Pima put on an offensive display, racking up 15 hits. Freshman Ivan Estrella and sophomore Trey Stine led the attack with three hits each.
Kucko earned the win after pitching six innings.
Next up, Pima will be in Douglas as they play Cochise College in a doubleheader on March 28th.