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Townsend, McAffer Shutdown Eastern for Sweep

First complete game of the year for Central in Grant Townsend
First complete game of the year for Central in Grant Townsend

Shortstop Matt Kroon tripled to lead off the day, the next batter Pikai Duque-Winchester doubled him in, and after an Alix Garcia groundout, Brent Baily hit the SAC fly to score Duque-Winchester.

It was 2-0 and the Vaqueros never trailed, taking two from the Eastern Arizona Gila's on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in Coolidge.

Game 1

What a start from Grant Townsend again. Townsend threw all seven innings in game one, striking out eight while walking one batter. The final was 5-2 and the two runs scored on the soph were unearned which dropped Townsend's season ERA to 2.92. An infield error and passed ball accounted for both of Eastern's runs, Towsend scattered five almost meaningless hits, and it was quite a special performance. Getting ahead with sliders and whizzers all day.

Head coach Anthony Gilich said he saw a vast improvement in Townsend at the beginning of the season and Grant has made the most out of his five starts, striking out 30 batters in 24.2 innings while walking only seven.

Catcher Chris Diehl had a nice day at the plate and in the field with a double and single. Somebody is on fire and it's El Duque. Winchester went 2-4 and scored making him 10-14 for the week.

"Yeah that's pretty good" said Gilich with a wry smile in his voice. Winchester is up to .418, good for fourth in the ACCAC. Alix Garcia doubled again and is currently second, hitting .431. 

SEE ALIX GARCIA BASIN HERALD ARTICLE

Game 2

Winchester doubled again, walked, and popped another into the desert going 2-3 in game two. He also scored two of the three runs in the 3-1 win. The other RBI came from Brent Bailey who went 4-4. Bailey is now hitting .389. Jake Vander Wal added two hits and Kroon also doubled, giving him six total bases on the day.

Will McAffer struck out nine batters in six innings of game two while walking only two. His catcher Ty Johnson threw out a runner at second base in the fourth inning and back-picked a runner at second for the final out of the sixth. The pitcher treats at Chik-Fil-A after the game for plays like that. 

"Yeah pretty good" Gilich stated eloquently on the day McAffer had. He and Townsend now have three wins apiece on the year. Koa Eastlack threw a scoreless two striking out five of the six he faced. 

To repeat. Five of his six outs were sit-downs. Nobody reached.

Bradley Gonzales threw a scoreless ninth with a little pop-up and two more strikeouts for a save. His K per 9 is now over fourteen.

Fourteen.

Eastlack's K per 9 is over 19. Disgusting. 

NOTES

-It's always fun when you can get Bailey and Bradley Morgan in the game at the same time as in game one. Morgan is nursing a sore arm back to health and could be ready in two weeks, he's been used in the DH role so far.

-19 more hits for the Cowboys on Saturday. "Working on getting those guys around" said Gilich. "Our execution isn't the greatest right now, but we played a very good all around two games today."

-In the fall of 2015 I saw Grant Townsend warming up in the bullpen at Gene Autry Park in Mesa and the first pitch I saw him throw to then-catcher Brent Gibbs I said to myself "gracious well looky that." And so looky now.

-The spring break is coming up and Gilich will be taking an extra look at some players with an eye open for the stretch run. Central has six baseball games this week, it's a road trip to Yuma on Tuesday and doubleheaders on Wednesday and Saturday in Coolidge.

-Andrew Edwards father came to watch his boy earlier in the year and asked if I had any influence on the between-innings and lag-time music featured by the dugout DJ of the day. "No but if I did there'd be more Black Crowes and ZZ Top." That's what I said.

-Blade

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