By JOSE SANTIAGO III
Pima Community College swept the University of Arizona club baseball team on Feb. 11 in a double header.
Pima would take the first game by a score of 8-0 and freshman Chris Kucko finally got his first win of the season after pitching five innings of the shutout and only giving up four hits.
Sophomores Kellen Marruffo, Devon Carrillo and A.J. Acosta each had two RBIs in the game.
In the second game of the double header Pima won 10-0.
The win was the Aztecs fifth in a row.
Freshman Francisco Rodriguez went 3 for 4 and racked up 3 RBIs in the game.
Freshman Ruben Bracamontes matched Rodriguez’s production, also going 3 for 4 with 3 RBIs.
The Aztecs look to take this hot streak into ACCAC Conference play starting Feb. 15. They play Western Arizona College in Yuma and look to get their record to above .500 for the first time this season.
Pima won three straight versus Hermosillo College on Feb. 7-9.
In the first game Aztecs won 9-4.
All nine runs came from a huge rally in the sixth inning.
Sophomores James Lynch, Steven Still, Jaquese Moore and freshmen Rodriguez and Brandon Burke each had an RBI in the game.
Sophomore Cole Plouck pitched another great game but couldn’t secure the win. He pitched 5 and two-third innings, giving up only one unearned run.
The second game of the double header had even more offense, winning the game 15-2.
Lynch was the offensive star of the game. He went 3 for 4 from the plate with 4 RBIs, two runs and one home run.
The bats would be alive and well for the third game of the series against Hermosillo, as they would win 8-2.
Freshman Kyle Petty pitched seven innings in the game and only gave up one run on four hits giving him his first win of the season.
Lynch had another great game, including a two-RBI single in the second inning.
Pima dropped two straight versus Western Nevada on Feb. 4-5.
In the second game of the series Kucko pitched six innings and had four strikeouts, but also gave up four runs and seven hits, resulting in his second loss of the season.
The offense struggled in this game as well. Lynch, Bracamontes and sophomore Juan Gamez each had one hit in the effort. Final score 5-0.
The struggles continued for the Aztecs in their game against the Sonora College All-Stars on Feb. 7.
This game went into extra innings with the score tied at one apiece, but due to a passed ball late in the game they would end up losing 3-2.
Sophomore Scotty Watson pitched a great game. He threw 112 pitches in seven and one-third innings, with seven strikeouts and giving up only one unearned run.
Sophomore Dan Kennon would score both runs for the Aztecs in the game on a 1-5 performance from the plate.
The Aztecs dropped both games of a doubleheader on Jan. 31, losing to Paradise Valley Community College.
Kucko was called upon to start the first game of the season for the Aztecs. He struggled early, giving up two runs in the first inning of play.
Kucko would settle down though, only giving up one more run for the rest of the five and two-thirds innings. He left the game with the Aztecs in a two run deficit, down 3-1.
Gamez would score the only run for the Aztecs, going 2 for 4 from the plate.
Watson was strong, starting the second game of the doubleheader. He pitched four and two-thirds innings, only giving up two hits and one unearned run to go along with four strikeouts.
Despite Watson’s strong performance, the Aztecs still found themselves down 1-0.
The Aztec bats showed some signs of life later in the game, scoring four runs in the seventh inning and taking a three-run lead heading in to the bottom of the frame.
The lead was short lived for the Aztecs, as they gave up four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to find themselves down 5-4 going into the eighth inning.
The Aztecs lost the game 6-4, starting the season 0-2.
The second day of the season was slightly better for Pima, as they took one game of two against Paradise Valley at home.
The first game of the doubleheader was a thriller. Through the first 5 and two-third innings Pima pitchers were working on a no-hitter.
Plouck pitched the first four and two-third innings of no-hit ball in a strong starting effort before being pulled. He also had seven strikeouts to go along with four walks.
Going into the bottom of the seventh inning Pima was down by the score of 1-0. Carrillo would score in the inning on a wild pitch to tie the game.
Still scored later in the inning on a sacrifice fly hit by Cooper Smith.
The sacrifice would wind up being the game-winning run and give the Aztecs their first win of the season. Final score 2-1.
In the second game, the Aztecs lost 3-0.
Marruffo went 3 for 4 in the game and Carrillo went 2 for 3 combining for 5 of the Aztecs’ 6 hits in the game.
Freshman Marcel Renteria pitched four and two-third innings of relief, racking up seven strikeouts to only one walk.
He did give up two runs and would ultimately take the loss.
By JOSE G. SANTIAGO III
The smell of fresh cut grass is in the air, the infield dirt has been raked and newly ground chalk has been put on the base paths.
All this can only mean one thing: The new baseball season is almost upon us and Pima Community College head baseball coach Jason Hisey is ready.
Last year, Hisey and his team finished sixth in their conference, something the coach is certainly hoping to improve upon this season.
In Hisey’s fourthyear as head coach, he has some obstacles to overcome.
The loss of numerous pitchers is cause for concern, and the coach mentioned the need to fill the void left by departing pitcher Jake Cole.
Some key players taking the mound for the Aztecs this season will be Marcel Renteria, Cole Plouck, Chris Kucko and Scotty Watson.
Hisey isn’t sure how his team is going to perform, but he is cautiously optimistic about their chances.
“I’m not sure yet, we haven’t played anyone beside ourselves yet,” Hisey said.
“Uncertainty brings a sense of excitement to any season, so I guess we will just have to wait and see how this one plays out,” he said.
Pima baseball starts its season on Jan. 31 in Phoenix against Paradise Valley. First pitch starts at noon.
By ROSE VALENZUELA
The Pima Community College baseball team (22-24-1, 12-18 ACCAC) earned a split at Eastern Arizona College on April 16.
The Aztecs dropped game one in Thatcher by a 1-0 score before taking the second contest 6-3.
In the first game, sophomore pitcher Keith Zuniga (5-4) threw six strong innings, but the offense was unable to pick him up. PCC managed just three hits in the contest.
Pima scored two runs in both the eighth and ninth innings to pull away in the second game.
Freshman Luis Robles went 2 for 4 and freshman hurler Hyrum Formo (4-3) got the win after going seven innings.
PCC had a tough day on April 13, traveling to Yavapai Community College for a double-dip. The Aztecs dropped both games to the Roughriders.
The Aztecs lost the first game 12-5, as sophomore pitcher Jake Cole took the loss to drop his record to 3-5 on the season.
Yavapai’s tough defense didn’t allow the Aztecs to get much going. Freshmen Carlo Tacchia and Devon Carillo contributed with some solid offense, but it wasn’t enough for the Aztecs to get the win.
The Aztecs dropped the second game 12-0 in five innings.
Freshman pitcher Cole Plouck took the loss and fell to 1-2 on the year. Plouck gave up seven runs, five of them earned, with three strikeouts. Freshman pitcher Scotty Watson went in to try to earn the save, but gave up five runs with one strikeout.
Sophomore pitcher Will Holbrook closed the game by pitching one inning with no runs and one strikeout.
Pima traveled to Chandler-Gilbert Community College on April 6, splitting a doubleheader.
In the first game, the Aztecs broke a tie in the fourth inning and won 6-4.
Sophomore Alec Beyersdorf and freshman Sergio Ortiz helped the Aztecs take the lead. Beyersdorf had an RBI double and Ortiz added an RBI single.
Freshman Juan Gamez was stronger than ever at the plate, as he went 2 for 2 with two RBIs and two doubles.
Cole picked up another win. Cole pitched five innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits, including seven strikeouts and two walks.
Chandler-Gilbert downed Pima 4-2 in the second contest.
Holbrook took the loss after pitching four innings.
By ROSE VALENZUELA
The Pima Community College baseball team (19-19-1, 9-13 ACCAC) had a tough time getting its offense on track against Cochise College on April 2.
Cochise took both games of a doubleheader at West Campus, winning 5-1 and 4-0.
Sophomore pitcher Keith Zuniga absorbed the loss in game one, as his mark dropped to 5-2 on the year.
Sophomore Bryant Muñoz went 3 for 3 from the dish in the contest.
The Apaches held PCC to five hits in game two, as freshman pitcher Hyrum Formo took the loss.
Pima also lost a home doubleheader against Scottsdale Community College on March 30.
The Aztecs again had trouble producing runs, falling 4-1 and 6-1.
In the first game, sophomore Zach Schira knocked in freshman Alvaro Flores, but Scottsdale put it away with a four-run sixth inning.
Sophomore pitcher Jake Cole was the hard-luck loser, going the distance and giving up only three earned runs. He stands at 2-4 on the year.
In game two, sophomore pitcher Will Holbrook took the loss and is now 2-3 this season.
Schira and freshman Luis Robles each went 2 for 4 in the contest.
Pima swept Glendale Community College at home on March 26. The Aztec bats were alive during the two games, and they took full advantage.
PCC defeated Glendale 5-4 in the first game, as Muñoz came through with a pinch-hit, bases-loaded single in the bottom of the eighth.
With only one out, sophomore Dylan Dyson hit a single and sophomore Andre Porterfield got hit by a pitch. A wild pitch then moved the runners up a base.
After freshman Juan Gamez was walked intentionally, the stage was set for Muñoz’s heroics.
Cole pitched 1 2/3 innings with no runs, no hits, two strikeouts and two walks to get the win for Pima.
The Aztecs won the second game 7-1. Formo gave up one run in seven innings with no walks and seven strikeouts to pick up the win.
The Aztecs were down 1-0 until they scored five runs in the third inning, helped along by sophomore Alec Beyersdorf’s RBI triple.
Freshman Luis Robles had a run-scoring single in the same inning to make the game 5-1. The Aztecs tacked on two more in the sixth.
Pima split a home twinbill with Paradise Valley Community College on March 23.
Cole pitched a gem in game one, as PCC won 3-2. The sophomore went the distance and surrendered no earned runs while striking out 14 and issuing a single walk.
Paradise Valley took game two 14-3.
The Aztecs play Chandler-Gilbert Community College in Chandler on April 6. Game one of the doubleheader is scheduled for noon.
By ROSE VALENZUELA
The Pima Community College baseball team (19-17-1, 9-11 ACCAC) had its offense put in check by Scottsdale Community College in a March 30 home doubleheader. The ’Chokes took the double-dip 4-1 and 6-1.
In game one, sophomore pitcher Jake Cole went the distance, giving up three earned runs on five hits. His record fell to 2-4 on the year.
Sophomore Jesus Arvizu went 2 for 3 at the plate.
Sophomore Zach Schira and freshman Luis Robles went 2 for 4 in the second game, as sophomore hurler Will Holbrook (2-3) took the loss.
PCC used some clutch hitting to sweep Glendale Community College at home on March 26, 5-4 and 7-1.
Sophomore Bryant Munoz came through with a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the eighth to provide the winning margin in game one.
Cole picked up the victory for PCC. Fellow sophomore Keith Zuniga started, going 6 1/3 innings, while giving up four earned runs five hits.
In the seccond game, freshman Hyrum Formo gave up one run in seven innings. Formo struck out seven and walked none to move his season mark to 2-2.
Freshman Sergio Ortiz went 2 for 3 with an RBI, and sophomore Alec Beyersdorf had an RBI triple.
PCC split a doubleheader with Paradise Valley Community College at home on March 23, winning 3-2 before falling 14-3.
Cole turned in a gem in the first game, giving up two earned runs on four hits and striking out 14. He gave up a leadoff triple in the top of the seventh inning, but struck out the side to end the threat.
Freshman Alvaro Flores went 2 for 3 with an RBI and a run scored.
In the second game, freshman Scotty Watson took the loss on the mound. He’s 2-4 on the year.
Flores went 2 for 3, and sophomore Dylan Dyson launched a two-run homer for PCC.
On March 21, Pima took on GW White Rock Titans, a Canadian club team, winning 9-2 at home.
Holbrook picked up the victory to run his record to 2-2. He struck out 12 on 106 pitches.
Dyson finished 2 for 4 with three RBIs, and Munoz was 2 for 4 with two runs scored.
Pima had its six-game winning streak snapped by GateWay Community College on March 19 in Phoenix.
The Geckos took game one 2-1, as Zuniga suffered his first loss of the season. He stands at 5-1 on the year after giving up two runs on five hits in six innings of work.
Zuniga also had his 30-inning scoreless streak halted in the second inning.
Schira had a sacrifice fly and a triple in the game, while freshman Juan Gamez went 2 for 3.
GateWay took the second game 7-3, as Formo took the loss.
PCC went 4-0 at the Jack Howell Classic, which was played at West Campus on March 13-16.
The Aztecs played their final two games of the tourney on March 15, beginning with a 6-2 victory over Miles Community College (Mont.).
Watson gave up two earned runs in a complete-game victory to improve to 2-3 on the campaign.
Beyersdorf went 4 for 4 from the plate, including a solo round-tripper in the third inning.
The Aztecs shredded GateWay 10-3 in their second game of the day.
On March 14, PCC broke open a tie game with a six-run fifth inning to defeat Douglas College (Canada) 10-2.
With the score knotted at two, Robles ripped a two-run RBI single, then fellow freshman Devon Carrillo hit a two-run double to make it 6-2 Pima.
Sophomore pitcher Anthony Badalucco went five innings to notch his first win of the season. He surrendered two earned runs on five hits, striking out one and issuing four walks.
The Aztecs defeated Grays Harbor College (Wash.) 4-1 on March 13.
Holbrook went the distance against the Chokers, giving up an unearned run on five hits. He struck out eight and walked none.
Pima took a pair from Paradise Valley Community College at West Campus on March 12, winning 12-0 and 6-5.
Zuniga gave up six hits and recorded seven strikeouts in the complete-game victory.
Freshman Carlo Tacchia was the hero in the second contest, as he hit a walk-off single to bring in Beyersdorf in the bottom of the ninth.
Formo pitched seven strong innings, giving up two runs on six hits.
Sophomore Santiago Romero finished out the contest to pick up the win for PCC.
Beyersdorf and Zuniga took ACCAC Division I Player of the Week honors for March 11-17.
Beyersdorf finished the week 9 for 19 from the plate, with seven RBIs and eight runs scored, while Zuniga pitched his third straight shutout against Paradise Valley on March 12.
Zuniga has a 1.20 ERA in 45 innings pitched this year.
April 2: Cochise College, West Campus, noon
By ROSE VALENZUELA
Pima Community College sophomore baseball player Bryant Muñoz has reached goals, and is still on the verge of reaching more.
Muñoz was born in Sonora, Mexico, and moved to Tucson when he was about 3 months old.
He has every ballplayer’s dream, to become a Major League Baseball player. Aside from that, he would like to be a baseball agent, so he is concentrating on his studies.
“I’m studying sports management and business administration, because for some of us, reality hits a lot quicker than others,” he said. “It’s the hardest sport to be successful in, but the love I have for it keeps me wanting to be around it for the rest of my life, even if I can’t play it.
“Baseball was my first love. I was 3 when I first began.”
Muñoz, 20, is determined to continue playing for as long as he can.
As a sophomore this year, he has already signed to play next season at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Fla., where he will go from being an Aztec to being a Wildcat.
It has taken him a lot to be able to continue with his dream, and so far he has made it clear that no matter how difficult something is, everything is worth it in the end.
“It feels great going to play at a Division I program,” he said. “I took a lot of criticism over the years. People telling me I was too small, not strong enough, not fast enough, etc.”
“It feels that much better to be able to say I accomplished my dream.”
He is stoked about leaving Arizona and moving to the Sunshine State for two years.
“I definitely can’t wait to live two years in Daytona Beach, Florida,” he said.
He dedicates his life to baseball, but when he is off the field he enjoys doing other stuff in his free time.
“I like to spend my spare time in the gym staying in shape, trying to stay injury-free,” he said. “I also enjoy playing racquetball. It’s been my hobby growing up.”
Muñoz has his sights set all the way across the nation for now. Like countless young men before him, he’s willing to do whatever he needs to in order to stay connected with his true love.
By ROSE VALENZUELA
The Pima Community College baseball team (7-10-1, 4-4 ACCAC) split a double-dip at Phoenix College on Feb. 26. The Aztecs won 5-1 in the first game, before falling 3-2.
Sophomore pitcher Jake Cole went the distance for the win game one, giving up a run on five hits. He struck out four and walked two.
Freshman Sergio Ortiz plated two with a single in the second inning, while sophomore Jesus Arvizu also had two RBIs.
In game two, Phoenix scored three in the bottom of the sixth to claim victory.
Sophomore Dylan Dyson got things started for PCC in the top of the first inning with an RBI single, scoring sophomore Alec Beyersdorf. Beyersdorf notched a pair of doubles in the contest.
Freshman pitcher Scotty Watson took the loss, and now stands at 1-2 on the campaign.
Pima earned its first conference sweep of the season on Feb. 23, taking a pair from Mesa Community College at West Campus.
Sophomore Keith Zuniga went the distance in game one, as PCC shut out Mesa 7-0.
Freshman third baseman Luis Robles had a two-run RBI triple in the third inning to get things started for the home squad. He finished the game 2 for 4.
Pima took the nightcap 5-4, as freshman pitcher Hyrum Formo picked up the win. Sophomore Santiago Romero earned the save.
Sophomore Bryant Munoz had a double and two runs scored in the contest.
A rare Southern Arizona snowstorm caused the team’s doubleheader against Okanagan College (Canada) to be canceled on Feb. 20.
The previous day, the Aztecs (4-9-1, 1-3 ACCAC) were swept at South Mountain Community College.
Pima tied game one in the seventh inning, before falling 3-2 in eight.
Cole went seven innings, giving up two earned runs on three hits. Cole had seven punchouts and walked three.
PCC dropped the second contest 9-6, as South Mountain stormed back late to erase a 5-3 Aztecs lead.
The team responded from a loss in its home doubleheader on Feb. 16, and came back with a decisive victory.
The Aztecs played Arizona Western College, and dropped the first game 6-1.
They left the first game in the past, and came back in the second game to win 7-1. They took the lead early, and had a lot of help from Zuniga.
The sophomore pitched eight innings, and gave up only one earned run on six hits with seven strikeouts.
Romero entered in the ninth inning to close out the game, and had two strikeouts.
“I like the fight we have,” said Zuniga after the win. “I like the fact that we have the ability to put the past behind us and move on to play the next game.”
The offense was outstanding in the win.
Beyersdorf hit an RBI double in the first inning to put the Aztecs on the board. Dyson also had an RBI single.
Sophomores Zach Schira and Munoz and freshman Cooper Smith also contributed RBIs in the contest, along with Ortiz.
On Feb. 8-10, the Aztecs were on the road playing another tournament in Las Vegas.
The Aztecs lost their first two games against Western Nevada College.
Although their first two games weren’t what they hoped for, the Aztecs took charge on the last day in Las Vegas and defeated Western Nevada 7-5.
Pima got on the board with two runs in the second inning. Western Nevada responded with four runs in the seventh.
After the lead went back and forth one more time, the Aztecs scored three runs to win the game in the top of the ninth.
Formo pitched six scoreless innings. He had eight strikeouts and only two walks. Romero pitched a scoreless ninth inning to get the win.
March 2: Eastern Arizona College, West Campus, noon
March 5: @ Central Arizona College, Coolidge, noon
By ROSE VALENZUELA
The Pima Community College baseball team visited Las Vegas for a work trip on Jan. 31-Feb. 1, going 1-3 in the College of Southern Nevada Tournament.
The Aztecs split their two games on the tournament’s second day, pounding the College of Southern Idaho 10-2 and dropping a 3-2 heartbreaker to the College of Southern Nevada.
Sophomore Keith Zuniga had a great game on the mound against Southern Idaho, pitching seven innings and only giving up one run. He had two strikeouts and no walks.
PCC broke out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning, then tacked on three more in the third.
Sophomore Jesus Arvizu had an RBI double in the second inning, and went 3 for 4 with four RBIs in the game.
Sophomore Bryant Munoz and freshman Cooper Smith each had RBI singles in the third.
Pima gave up a pair of runs in the bottom half of the ninth inning to fall to Southern Nevada in the second game.
Freshman hurler Hyrum Formo pitched six strong innings, surrendering a single earned run on six hits. He had six strikeouts and gave up a walk.
Freshman pitcher Scotty Watson took the loss for PCC.
Pima had a tough time at the plate on the tournament’s first day, falling to Southern Idaho 9-0 and dropping a 1-0 game to Southern Nevada.
PCC’s three hits in the Southern Idaho contest came courtesy of sophomore Alec Beyersdorf and freshmen Luis Robles and Juan Gamez.
Freshman Cole Plouck was the losing pitcher.
After having their season-opening games rained out on Jan. 27, the Aztecs played their first two games of the year at Paradise Valley Community College on Jan. 29.
Pima won the first game 4-0, as sophomore Santiago Romero pitched four no-hit innings. Watson got the last nine outs for the save.
Sophomore Zach Schira and freshman Carlo Tacchia both contributed enough offense to push across the four runs that were scored in the game.
Schira started things off with a two-run double in the first inning, and Tacchia drove in two more in the third.
The second game ended in a rare 2-2 tie.
Robles got PCC on the board with an RBI single, and the Aztecs pushed across another run in the fifth to tie it up.
Sophomore Will Holbrook, Formo and Zuniga combined to allow the two runs on seven hits.
The Aztecs will return to Las Vegas on Feb. 8-10 to play three straight games at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.
They will play Western Nevada Community College in the first game. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.
Feb. 8: @ Western Nevada CC (at UNLV), Las Vegas, 3 p.m.
Feb. 9: @ Western Nevada CC (at UNLV), Las Vegas, 11 a.m.
Feb. 10: @ Western Nevada CC (at UNLV), Las Vegas, 11 a.m.
Feb. 16: Arizona Western College, West Campus, noon
Feb. 19: @ South Mountain CC, Phoenix, noon
By ROSE VALENZUELA
College baseball season is right around the corner, and the Pima Community College squad is eager for it to begin.
It’s finally time for the players to show off their skills and everything they have worked on the past several months, including during fall ball.
This year’s baseball team is full of talent in all areas.
Although the Aztecs lost key players from last year, they have gained talent back from incoming freshmen.
They think that they have the potential to be the team they are striving to be.
The sophomores on the team are outlining expectations in order for them to have a successful season.
“We expect our freshmen to come ready to play and not complain about anything. Just take care of business,” returning outfielder Bryant Munoz said.
The team has put in a lot of time on the diamond and in the weight room to prepare for the upcoming campaign.
“We practiced six times a week, four hours of practice during the week and eight hours on Saturdays,” Munoz said. “And we had morning workouts four days a week.”
The way the Pima baseball team practices does not change.
According to some returning players, head coach Jason Hisey is strict about what needs to be practiced.
The team opens the season at home on Jan. 26 against Paradise Valley Community College.
That same week they go to Las Vegas for the Community College of Southern Nevada Tournament.
All scheduled dates are doubleheaders.
By STEVE CHOICE
People might suspect that the baseball and softball diamonds at Pima Community College’s West Campus lay dormant during the offseason.
But those suspicions would be off base.
The two squads can be found between the lines this time of year, practicing and playing exhibition games to keep their skills sharp and allow coaches a valuable look at their players.
“These fall practices are a necessity, and absolutely a positive thing,” said head softball coach Armando Quiroz. “We need this because we have to find out the culture of our team, and figure out the strengths and weaknesses we have.
“Playing 19 games like this, we get to experiment and see a lot of things.”
Though they’re not playing for keeps, Quiroz is aware of how much his players want to win the exhibition contests.
“We say to the team, ‘Winning’s not the thing here; we’re trying to build the team,’” he said. “But once the games start, that competitiveness takes over.
“Yeah, we’re trying to build, but we’re also trying to win. That competitiveness never goes away. It’s kind of like spring training, but you still don’t want to lose.”
Luckily for them, losing isn’t something Quiroz’s players have had to deal with yet this fall, going undefeated in six tries.
The PCC baseball team has also been getting in some fall reps, both in practices and exhibition games. Freshman shortstop Devon Carrillo definitely sees the value in it.
“It’s a great opportunity,” Carrillo said. “The sophomores really help us out a lot by showing us how coach (Jason) Hisey wants stuff to be and what’s expected of us.”
Sophomore starting pitcher Keith Zuniga echoed his teammate’s thoughts.
“We’re able to help out the freshmen as far as showing them what coach wants, and just getting them more familiar with the college game.”
Sophomore hurler Yvette Alvarez is another Aztec who appreciates the opportunity to help her coaches mentor new teammates.
“We’ve been providing some good leadership to the freshmen,” she said. “Just kind of showing them what the expectations are at this level and stuff.”
Freshman catcher and infielder Danielle Stensby says the extra time has helped her get accustomed to the added pressures of college ball.
“I was nervous at first,” she said. “It was nice to be able to get the jitters out in an exhibition game.”
The Aztecs will get the opportunity to play a Division I team on Oct. 6-7, as they hit the road for four games against the University of Texas at El Paso.
Fans hoping to catch the team at home can do so on Sept. 29, as PCC takes on the New Mexico All-Stars, a club team.
Pima will also compete in the University of Arizona’s Fall Classic at Hillenbrand Stadium on Oct. 12-14.
The Aztecs are scheduled to play the UA and the University of New Mexico at the tournament, among other teams.
The baseball team will next be at home on Sept. 29 to take on the Albuquerque (N.M.) Baseball Academy squad.
For full schedules and more information on fall baseball and softball, visit www.pima.edu/current-students/athletics.
By MYLO ERICKSON
Tucson Padres players say they are looking forward to the year and hope to improve on last season’s 65-79 record.
The San Diego Padres’ triple-A affiliate kicked off its 2012 season on April 5 in Tucson’s Kino Sports Complex.
“I’m glad to make the jump to triple-A,” outfielder Sawyer Carroll said. “It seems like it’s going to be a lot of fun and I think we’ll be really good.”
There are lots of new faces on the Padres squad, but many are familiar with each other because they played together last year on the San Diego Padres’ double-A affiliate, the San Antonio Missions.
The Tucson team ended its first 2012 home series with a 1-5 record.
“I’m hoping that I can learn and build off of spring training,” starting pitcher Joe Wieland said. “That was my first big league camp.”
Tucson was not the original destination for the triple-A affiliate.
Originally known as the Portland Beavers, the team was forced out of Oregon in 2010 when its facility was converted into a soccer stadium.
San Diego Padres owner Jeff Moorad purchased the team with the intent of moving it to Escondido, Calif., which is located about 30 miles from San Diego.
Moorad chose Tucson as an interim location while the organization waited on funding to build an Escondido stadium.
Tucson’s Kino facility was available, after two Major League Baseball spring training squads and the triple-A Sidewinders left town.
However, the big league Padres may not receive funds to build the Escondido stadium. Last July, the California legislature passed a budget that eliminated redevelopment agencies.
The move denied Escondido the necessary public funds to build a stadium. The city had already spent $350,000 on preparatory environmental studies.
With the team’s location in limbo, cities outside of California have expressed interest. El Paso, especially, is making a strong push.
Tucson will host through the 2012 season, but it seems clear that fans must show more support if they want to keep the team.
Last season the Tucson Padres had the worst Pacific Coast League attendance, averaging about 3,410 people. The league leader was Round Rock, Texas, with 8,500.
Approximately 6,400 people attended the Tucson Padres home opener in 2011. This year’s opener drew 5,681.
For additional information on the Tucson Padres, including game schedules, upcoming promotions and ticket purchases, visit the team home page at milb.com/index.jsp?sid=t549.
By LYNDAJOE ECHERIVEL
Pima Community College split a double-header at home on April 3 against Phoenix College.
Pima lost 3-2 with the starting pitcher sophomore Pepe Gomez went six and one-third innings, allowing two hits and one earned run, with five strikeouts and three walks.
Freshman pitcher Santiago Romero took the loss by giving up a run in the final innings of the first game putting his record at 3-2 on the season.
In the second game Pima routed Phoenix 15-1, with sophomore Juan Vega pitching six innings having two strikeouts and one walk.
Leadoff hitter freshman Bryant Munoz reached base safely all five times he came to the plate as well as scored all five times.
Freshman Ryan Moser went 3-7 with four RBIs total in both games.
It was another split double-header for Pima against Mesa Community College on March 31, as the first game was all about pitching while the second was about offense.
Sophomore Julio Felix pitched a complete-game shutout as the Aztecs took the first game 8-0 in seven innings.
Felix dished out five strikeouts and no walks, which helped earn him Arizona Community College Athletic Conference Division I Pitcher of the Week.
Sophomore outfielder Zach Sweety hit an RBI double in the fourth inning, which brought around two runs. He finished 3-for-3 for the game.
Freshman Zach Schira and sophomore Mario Sanchez each hit RBI doubles in the sixth to help Pima break away.
Pima’s rally fell short in the second game, as the team lost 12-9.
Going into the bottom of the fifth inning, the Aztecs trailed 11-1. They came back with three runs in the fifth, four runs in the sixth and one run in the seventh to cut it to11-9.
Munoz contributed in all three innings. He scored a run, hit a sac-fly RBI and had an RBI single. Freshman Ethan Rosebeck pitched two scoreless innings to keep Pima in the game.
Moser finished 3-for-5 with two RBIs and sophomore Ryan Gerber hit an RBI triple in the sixth.
The offense was clicking for Pima March 28 as it defeated Illinois Valley Community College 12-2 in seven innings.
The Aztecs got a big contribution from Sanchez, who went 2-for-4 with four RBIs and two runs scored. He hit a RBI double in the seventh inning, which widened Pima’s lead to 11-2. He also scored the run that ended the game.
Sophomore K.C. Mejia drove in two runs with his RBI double in the second inning. He finished 2-for-3.
Sophomore Caleb Kirkman got the win, improving to 3-1 for the season. He pitched six and one-third innings, giving up one earned run with three strikeouts.
Pima split a double-header with Scottsdale Community College on March 27.
The Aztecs won the first game 4-2.
Sanchez hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning to break the tie. It was his first homerun of the year.
Freshman catcher Blake Davey went 1-for-2 for the game and hit a RBI in the third inning.
Felix got the win and improved to 5-1 for the year after giving up two earned runs with six strikeouts in a complete game outing.
PCC dropped the second game 6-1. Scottsdale scored three runs in the sixth inning to pull away. Vega took the loss, which dropped him to 4-5 for the year.
Rosebeck was the third pitcher to come in for relief, and threw two scoreless innings with two strikeouts. Pima’s run came in the first inning off a Moser RBI single.
The Aztecs came away with a split in a pair of close games against GateWayCommunity College on March 24 at Gene Autry Park in Mesa.
Pima won the first game 3-2 in 13 innings. Sophomore Ryan Cota scored the game-winning run. Freshman Santiago Romero got the win after he came in for relief and pitched seven shutout innings with six strikeouts and one walk.
Davey had an RBI single in the third inning and sophomore Dylan Schnickel had a sacrifice fly RBI in the sixth.
The Aztecs dropped the second game 2-1 in seven innings.
Sophomore Garrett Taggart lost his first game of the season, throwing five and one-third innings. He gave up two runs with four strikeouts and no walks.
Pima got its one run after freshman Alec Beyersdorf hit a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning.
By LYNDAJOE ECHERIVEL
By LYNDAJOE ECHERIVEL
The Pima Community College baseball team faced Glendale Community College March 20 at home and swept the Gauchos 9-0 and 6-0.
Julio Felix got the victory in game one and Juan Vega pitched for the victory in the nightcap.
Pima got stellar pitching from sophomores Pepe Gomez and Garrett Taggart on March 16 in its Jack Howell Classic matchups against Williston College of North Dakota and Northeastern College from Colorado.
The Aztecs beat WC 4-0 behind Gomez’s complete game shutout. He gave up four hits with eight strikeouts and two walks. He improved to 3-2 for the year.
Freshmen Alec Beyersdorf and Bryant Munoz provided insurance for the Aztecs in the sixth inning. Beyersdorf hit an RBI triple and Munoz had an RBI single. Sophomore K.C. Mejia finished 2-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI for the game.
Taggart improved to 3-0 for the season after giving up no earned runs with four strikeouts and one walk as the Aztecs defeated NC, 6-2. Freshman Ryan Moser had a good day behind the plate, going 2-for-3 with RBI doubles in the fifth and sixth innings.
The Aztecs played Madison College from Wisconsin and Douglas College from British Columbia on March 15.
PCC won the first game 5-3 over Madison. Sophomore Julio Felix got the win and improved to 3-1 for the year. He gave up three earned runs, issued one walk and had eight strikeouts. Freshman Will Holbrook recorded his sixth save of the season in as many tries.
Freshman Blake Davey got on base in all four plate appearances. He scored a run and had a single. Mejia went 3-for-4 with an RBI.
In the second game, Douglas College used a five-run second inning to beat the Aztecs 13-3. Pima had some bright spots on offense, however. Munoz had an RBI single in the third inning and finished 2-for-3 in the game. Beyersdorf had an RBI single of his own in the fifth inning and a stolen base.
Pima split their home doubleheader with Chandler-Gilbert Community College on March 10.
The first game went to extra innings as the Aztecs closed it out with a 3-2 victory in the ninth inning. Down 2-1 in the seventh inning, Munoz was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, scoring sophomore Zach Sweety.
With two outs, freshman Zach Schira hit an infield single which drove in Munoz for the game-winning run. Felix went six and one third innings, giving up one earned run with four strikeouts. Freshman Santiago Romero came in to relieve and shut out Chandler-Gilbert for three and two-thirds innings. He got the win and improved to 2-1 for the season.
The second game didn’t go Pima’s way, as it fell 8-1. With the scored tied at zero in the fourth inning, Moser got the Aztecs on the board with an RBI double, driving in sophomore Ryan Gerber. Chandler-Gilbert responded with three runs in the top of the fifth, then scored two each in the sixth and seventh innings.
Sophomore Juan Vega pitched five and one-third innings, giving up two earned runs with eight strikeouts. He dropped to 3-3 for the year.
By MYLO ERICKSON
Nogales native Gilbert “Gil” Heredia, who spent 10 years on Major League Baseball teams, played for Pima Community College in the early ‘80s.
During his tenure as an Aztec, the right-handed pitcher led Pima in innings pitched (247) and strikeouts (151). His 21 wins were the second-highest for the team.
The 1985 campaign was stellar for Heredia. He pitched 152.1 innings, recording 15 wins. He also struck out 98 batters and posted an earned run average of 2.66.
The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted Heredia in the first round of the 1984 draft, but he did not sign a contract. In 1985, the Baltimore Orioles drafted him in the sixth round but once again he opted to remain an Aztec.
Heredia played two seasons at the University of Arizona starting in 1986, and was part of the Wildcats’ NCAA championship team that year.
Heredia finally signed a professional contract in June 1987, when the San Francisco Giants drafted him in the ninth round, 230th overall.
While pitching for the Triple-A Phoenix Firebirds in 1991, he led the Pacific Coast League with a 2.82 ERA.
From there, he moved to MLB to play with the Giants.
He was traded three times during his pro career, first moving in 1992 to the Montreal Expos. He was shipped to the Texas Rangers in 1996 and ended up with the Oakland Athletics in 1998.
Heredia won a career-high 15 games in 2000, while throwing 198.2 innings. He struck out 101 batters and had a 4.12 ERA.
He pitched his last game on Sept. 19, 2001.
After leaving the pros, Heredia returned to Tucson to spend time with his wife and three children and worked for Nova Home Loans.
Heredia is now a pitching coach for the Missoula Osprey in Montana. The Pioneer Baseball League team serves as the rookie ball team for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
His Osprey pitching staff went 41-35 last season, with an ERA of 5.05. Heredia has one year left on his contract with the club.