By RENE ESCOBAR
The Pima Community College baseball team (18-28, 9-25 ACCAC) has seen better days this season.
In their game against Paradise Valley CC, April 18, both sophomore Miguel Figueroa and head coach James Hisey were ejected after arguing with the umpires about a call.
April 8: PCC 5, AWC 11/ PCC 4, AWC 9
The Aztecs faced an early deficit at West Campus in game one of a doubleheader against Arizona Western College.
Down 6-0 after the first inning, sophomore Erick Migueles hit a leadoff two-run home run to cut the deficit. Sophomore Shawn Bracamontes later dinged another two-run home run, bringing another Aztec in.
“We just need to make adjustments,” assistant coach Ernie Durazno said of the 11-5 loss. “We’ll get them next game.”
In game two, the Aztec offense came out hot, grabbing a quick early lead, but had no answers when the Matadors brought in six runs.
Migueles tried to spark his teammates for a comeback, hitting another two-run home run. However, the Matadors continued to bring in runs and pushed the score out of reach.
April 15: PCC 3, Mesa CC 2 / PCC 3, Mesa CC 4
Sophomore Anthony Felix got the ball rolling in the first game of the series with a two-run RBI in the top of the second inning.
Migueles locked up the win with a moon-shot home run in the seventh.
Freshman Jose Contreras was on the mound for the win, going for six and one-third innings while forfeiting one earned run, off seven hits, with five strikeouts.
In the second game, it took extra innings to declare a winner.
Down 0-3, the Aztec’s rally began with Felix getting another two-run RBI, the game was tied off a wild pitch.
The Aztecs rally was shut down as the game was won off an error committed by the Aztecs in the bottom of the 11.
April 18: PCC 3, Paradise Valley CC 7 / PCC 3, Paradise Valley CC 7
After the Paradise Valley Pumas got an early lead, the Aztecs tied the game in the bottom of the first inning, but the Pumas bounced back with two home runs in the third and fourth.
Freshman Austin Treadwell attempted a rally, but was halted by the Pumas. Figueroa took the loss, only pitching two and one-third innings. He had one strikeout and a walk.
The second game started with the Aztecs getting an early lead, but the game ultimately fell to the same score as game one.
Sophomore Andres Hackman took the loss, giving up five runs on four hits, with four strike outs and three walks.
By RENE ESCOBAR
The Pima Community College baseball team (17-23, 8-20 AC CAC) has ridden an up and down wave as they split twice and lost twice in a row
March 25: PCC 10, South Mountain 9/ PCC 8, South Mountain 9
The Aztecs won in extra innings in a high-drama match up at South Mountain.
Freshman Jesus Solis drew a lead-off walk at the top of the 10 inning, and fellow freshman Marcus Mendez reached base on an error to bring Solis home for a run.
Sophomore Manny Ramirez hit a two-run home run to tie game one at 2-2 in the fourth. After South Mountain regained the lead, sophomore Anthony Felix tied the game again in the fifth with a two-run RBI double.
Sophomore Miguel Figueroa hit a solo home run to put the Aztec at 7-4 in the sixth inning. In game two, the Aztecs surrendered a 7-3 lead as South Mountain came back in the seventh innings to steal the win.
The Cougars matched Pima’s lone run, then scraped ahead to a 3-1 lead in the second. In the fourth inning sophomore Oscar Larranaga brought four runs in with a grand slam.
March 28: PCC 0, Eastern Arizona, 8/ PCC, 3 Eastern Arizona 2
Pima split a doubleheader against Eastern Arizona.
Disappointment was evident throughout game one as the Aztecs managed only three hits.
Figueroa took the loss. He pitched four innings giving up five earned runs on eight hits, with one strikeout.
Game two was a defensive stalemate until the bottom of the ninth. Freshman Martin Garcia came up big with a walk-off single to win the game.
Earlier in the game, Migueles opened the game with an RBI double.
April 1: PCC 2, Cochise College 3/ PCC 3, Cochise College 5
Aztec rallies were cut short on the road at Cochise.
Trailing in the sixth inning of game one, the Aztecs cut into the lead, but fell short of the win. Sophomore Trevelle Hill took the loss after five innings, giving up three earned runs on four hits, with two strikeouts.
Sophomore Anthony Felix grounded out to end the rally and the game. Freshman Greg O’Brien took the loss tossing four and one-third innings, giving up three runs with seven strikeouts.
April 4: PCC 6, Central Arizona 7/ PCC 6, Central Arizona 7
After starting game one in a tight 2-2 battle by fifth inning, Pima was able to take the lead by one until Central Arizona scored five runs in the top of the six to make the score 7-3.
Their rally fizzled out in the seventh inning when bases were loaded with one out and an Aztec was struck out.
Figuero took the loss, he pitched five and two-thirds innings giving up six runs, two strikeouts and five walks.
Game two had the Aztecs down 5-0, until the fifth and sixth innings when the lead was cut to 7-4. After drawing three straight walks in the eighth Figueroa hit a two-run RBI single.
Freshman Jose Contreras took the loss as he pitched three innings, giving up three runs, one strikeout and two walks.
April 8: at Arizona Western College, Yuma, doubleheader, noon, 2:30 p.m.
April 15: at Mesa, doubleheader, noon, 2:30 p.m.
April 18: vs. Paradise Valley, West Campus, doubleheader, noon, 2:30 p.m.
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 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.
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.
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.
BY BRYAN OROZCO
“It’s time for Dodger baseball!”
One man uttered that phrase in his dulcet voice for more than 60 years.
He moved with the Brooklyn Dodgers to Los Angeles in 1958, and called some of the most iconic sports moments in history.
The man, of course, is Vin Scully and this year marked his last as the announcer for the Dodgers.
The city of Los Angeles and his fans honored Scully throughout the season, and the Dodgers’ organization even renamed the street leading up to Dodger Stadium to Vin Scully Avenue.
It is always sad to see a legend of the sport go, but it most definitely lightens the mood when you look back at the amazing calls Scully made.
In the 1986 World Series, he called the play that perpetuated “The Curse of the Bambino” on the Boston Red Sox.
“Three and two to Mookie Wilson. A little roller up along first … behind the bag! It gets through Buckner! Here comes Knight and the Mets win it!”
At the time, the Red Sox had not won a World Series since 1918. They were one out away from winning one, but Scully forever immortalized Buckner’s blunder.
Scully was there on April 8, 1974 to call Hank Aaron’s homerun that broke the all-time record set by Babe Ruth.
“Aaron’s waiting … it’s a fastball … it’s a high fly into deep left center field! Buckner goes back to the fence! It is gone!”
Scully not only called the play, but also commented on death threats Aaron was receiving.
“What a marvelous moment for baseball! What a marvelous moment for Atlanta in the state of Georgia! What a marvelous moment for the country and the world! A black man is getting a standing ovation in the deep South for breaking a record of an all-time baseball idol and it is a great moment for all of us, in particular for Henry Aaron!”
Dodgers fans will always remember Kurt Gibson’s walk-off homer in Game One of the 1988 World Series.
“High fly ball into right field! She is … gone!”
In true Scully fashion, he stayed silent after the play so listeners could hear the tremendous roar of the crowd as it celebrated.
Scully was willing and capable of calling any sport, and always did it in his style.
He called “the catch” that broke the hearts of Cowboy fans in the 1982 NFC championship game against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park.
“Montana … looking, looking, throwing in the end zone … Clark caught it! Dwight Clark! It’s a madhouse at the candlestick!”
These are just a few of the thousands of calls Scully made. He is the only announcer to call 28 World Series. He was behind the mic for 20 no-hitters, including three perfect games.
There will never be another announcer like Scully, but he will never be forgotten.
In his final message to fans, he said, “You and I have been friends for a long time, but I know in my heart that I’ve always needed you more than you’ve ever needed me.
“I’ll miss our time together more than I can say. But you know what? There will be a new day and eventually a new year.
“And when the upcoming winter gives way to spring, rest assured, once again it will be ‘time for Dodger baseball!’”
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 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
Major League Baseball plans to announce the players who will be elected into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y, on January 6, 2016. The Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) is conducting research on who should be elected to the Hall of Fame.
Suspected steroid user and Home Run King Barry Bonds and all-time home run record owner by a catcher Mike Piazza are on the ballot, several new players will also have their opportunity at immortality. New faces on the ballot are Seattle Mariners legend and outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. and former all-time saves leader and University of Arizona alumni Trevor Hoffman.
After making his MLB debut at 19 in 1989 with the Seattle Mariners, Griffey otherwise known as the “The Kid” played in 22 seasons. The 13-time All-Star accumulated 2,781 hits and 630 home runs, good enough for sixth on the all-time home run list, in 2,671 games played. Griffey was a part of the magical 1995 season when the Mariners beat the New York Yankees to advance to the American League Championship Series. The 1995 MLB season was the first year the Mariners made a postseason appearance in their 18-year history.
After a trade to the Cincinnati Reds in 2000, Griffey enjoyed a few successful years but was slowed because of injuries. On Father’s Day 2005, Griffey hit his prestigious 500th home run against the St. Louis Cardinals. The home run against the Cardinals put him in a virtual lock in the Hall of Fame. If Griffey stayed healthy during the second half of his career, he could have been the greatest baseball player to ever live.
Former all-time saves leader Hoffman made his MLB debut with the then-Florida Marlins in 1993. Following a mid-season trade to the San Diego Padres, Hoffman, a man with two-career saves to his name, pitched in a Hall of Fame career. For the next 16 seasons, Hoffman remained a Padre leading them to the 1998 World Series appearance against the Yankees while being named to six All-Star appearances during his tenure. After being traded to the Milwaukee Brewers prior to the 2009 season, Hoffman spent two seasons there before stepping away from the beloved game owning a then-MLB record 601 saves. Following the conclusion of his playing career, Hoffman was inducted into the San Diego Padres Hall of Fame.
I advocate that Griffey and Hoffman are shoe-in Hall of Famers for reaching these historic milestones that so many others have rarely even come close to touching.
by BRYAN OROZCO
The World Series was great for fans of the Kansas City Royals, the New York Mets and the casual baseball watcher, but to those with strong allegiances to other teams, there are mixed feelings.
The Royals are the 2015 World Series Champions as they were able to close up the series in five games against the Mets.
You can imagine the hysteria in Kansas City as their hometown team was able to bring the trophy with 30 flagpoles back home. In contrast, despondent Mets fans in Flushing and Queens were reminded they’re second place to the New York Yankees in NYC’s baseball hierarchy.
Gabe Nyrkkanen, Pima Community College program specialist for Access and Disability Resources is a Detroit Tigers fan.
“I am happy for the Royals,” he said. “They haven’t won a World Series since ’85 and the Mets since ’86 so I would have been happy for either team and their city’s and fans, but it’s bittersweet because my Tigers weren’t there.”
He also sees the Royals’ win as motivation for the Tigers, who are in the same division.
I’m a Los Angeles Dodgers fan and I was pissed that the Dodgers did not win or even go to the Series.
The Dodgers spent a Major League Baseball record high $310 million on team payroll for new and current players in exchange for the promise of a championship.
The Dodgers haven’t been to the World Series since the 1988 film “Cocktail,” starring Tom Cruise, was in theaters. After that, it’s all just been failed attempts.
What hurts the most for Dodgers fans is that our rival to the north, the San Francisco Giants, have been winning World Series with what seems almost no effort. It’s a shame since we are able to dominate them during the regular season. I only watched one Series game, the last one, as I wished for the season to end.
There are both optimistic fans and cynical fans as the season comes to an end and all we can do now is talk about the upcoming season as we wait for the first pitch of Opening Day.
by STEVEN FOWLER
Major League Baseball began in North America some 140 years ago, fans nation-wide flocked from great lengths to see two teams square off on the baseball diamond. The roar of the crowd, stale and greasy hot dogs and an ice-cold beer intrigues the crowd, making fans from all walks of life come together.
Slowly overtime, the average pace of a game dragged longer into the day. Then MLB thought of an idea that startled fans. Modernize “America’s Pastime” by speeding up the game.
The average time to of an nine-inning game in the 1970s was two hours and 30 minutes. The average increased to 2:57 in the 10-year span from 2000-09, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Playoff games seemed longer. In 2009, a regular-season nine-inning game lasted an average of 2:52, while in the playoffs, that number jumped to 3:30, according to STATS LLC.
“The games have become longer, in part because of good baseball,” said George Will, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author of two best-selling books.
Fans of the game, including myself, want to see constant motion on the field rather than wait when timeouts are called.
Before the 2015 regular season began, a lot of fans were critical when they learned about a new set of rules. To name a few, timers are set at 2 minutes, 25 seconds for most games and 2 minutes, 45 seconds for nationally televised games. Play will resume immediately once televised broadcasts returned from commercial breaks.
Batters must keep both legs in the batter’s box, with certain exceptions in place during the at-bat. The batters and pitchers are encouraged to be ready to play with 20 seconds remaining.
As of May 1, players may be fined up to $500 per violation if they do not comply when the clock hits zero.
According to MLB, the rules have cut nearly eight minutes off game time. An average of eight minutes off the clock may not seem like a lot, but it feels like it.
“I think fans understand and appreciate the fact that there are certain, naturally, never-going-to-be-changed aspects to the game that may not be fast-paced,” Commissioner Rob Manfred told ESPN.com. “What I think people were concerned about was things that they saw as not integral to the play of the game, or even the economic setup of the game.”
Baseball is one of my favorite sports but there is mixed emotions about the new pace of play in an MLB game. Why would we want to watch a ball game that is in a hurry to finish? I mean you just arrived and now you’re already thinking about how to get out of the stadium.
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.
By ALFRED DICOCHEA III
Pima Community College’s baseball team (12-12, 10-8 in ACCAC) is looking to improve from their .500 record after the first 14 games of the season.
With a pretty inconsistent first 14 games under their belt, Pima will be trying to avoid splitting series and instead try to sweep some opponents.
Pima is hosting five non-conference games in five days for the Spring Tournament from March 10 to 14.
On March 10, Pima’s first game for the Spring Tournament didn’t go their way. PCC lost to Cochise College 8-2.
Sophomore Ryan Norrix started and pitched four scoreless innings untill giving up two runs up in the fifth. Tolano would come in for relief, but instead took the loss, putting his record at 0-2 for the year.
On March 7, the Aztecs played Yavapai College in conference play. Pima split its two games with Yavapai, making it three split series in a row.
In the first game, Pima lost 4-2. The game was close up until the fifth, when Yavapai broke the tie with a two run inning to take the lead 3-2, then sealed the game with another run in the sixth.
Freshmen Justin Hammergren would pitch six innings and take the loss. Hammergren got his first loss of the year, putting him at 1-1 for the year.
In the second game, Pima won a high-scoring game, 13-9.
Freshmen Vinnie Tarantola got the win, putting him at 3-1 for season. Sophomore Marcel Renteria got the save.
On March 3, Pima faced off with GateWay Community College for a second time this season. Just like the first time they met, they would split the series.
Pima lost the first game to GateWay, 6-3. The Aztecs left the plenty of points on the table, as they had bases loaded in the fourth but couldn’t capitalize.
GateWay would score two more in the fifth and put Pima away for good.
The second game was a tight one. Pima won 7-6, as the game came down to the final out.
Pima gave up three runs in the ninth before putting GateWay away for good.
Hammergren came in for relief duty and closed out the game with a game-winning strikeout. Sophomore Chris Kucko got the win. The win is Kucko’s second of the year, putting him at 2-3 for the year.
On Feb. 28, Pima hosted Glendale Community College. Pima and Glendale split the series.
The Aztecs dropped the first game to Glendale 10-8 in ten innings.
Freshmen Daniel Tolano took the loss, his first of the season, putting him at 0-1 for the year.
The loss snapped Pima’s two game sweep streak and thier four game winning streak.
The second game, the Aztecs would need to rally once more, this time coming up with the victory, beating Glendale 7-5.
PCC was down 5-3 going into the fifth and just like the previous two times that game, Pima would score three runs to rally back.
Tarantola would pick up the win after pitching five. Renteria gets the save after shutting out Glendale in the final two innings.
On Feb. 24, Pima would take on Chandler-Gilbert Community College. Pima would get the sweep against CGCC. The sweep against CGCC makes it back-to-back sweeps for Pima.
In the first game Pima would have to hold on to the win as Pima won 2-1. In the fourth Pima was down 1-0 until Estella hit an RBI single and then scored a run, putting Pima up 2-1.
Sophomore Roy Aguirre would pitch a complete game. The win was Aguirre’s fourth of the year, but his first as a starter. Aguirre is 4-0 for the year.
In the second game Pima stopped a rally from CGCC and won 5-4. It all started in the third inning as Sophomore Devin Harrison lead off the inning and hit a solo home run.
Pima put up three more runs that innings going up 4-0. Harrison would homer again in the fourth, giving the Aztecs a 5-0 lead.
CGCC chipped away at Pima’s lead, but Pima held on in the ninth.
Kucko got the win after pitching five scoreless innings. The win is Kucko first of the year after starting 0-3. Tolano got the save for Pima.
The Aztecs continue playing in the Spring Tournament at West Campus through March 14.