CAC splits doubleheader against Paradise Valley; winning streak ends at 14
By ED PETRUSKA Contributing Writer Pinal Central
SIGNAL PEAK — All in all, Central Arizona College was rather fortunate to come away with a split in Tuesday's doubleheader against Paradise Valley.
The Vaqueros extended their winning streak to 14 with a come-from-behind 3-2 victory in the opener. They were no match for the Pumas in Game 2, falling 12-4. It was by far the most lopsided loss of the season for Central (31-6, 12-6 Arizona Community College Athletic Conference).
"I was glad we got tested in Game 1," CAC coach Anthony Gilich said. "Game 2 kind of imploded on us. We got beat in every facet."
Paradise Valley (25-13, 10-12 ACCAC) took advantage of 16 hits, seven walks and four errors in Game 2 to hand the Vaqueros their second home loss of the year. Five of the Pumas' runs were unearned.
"We're a talented group but when we make the mistakes we did in Game 2, we leave the door open to get beat," Gilich said. "That's what happened. We opened the door pretty wide."
CAC — ranked No. 10 in the NJCAA Division I poll — was by no means in top form offensively, either. The Vaqueros, who came in batting a collective .348 and averaging 9.2 runs per game, were held to five hits in the opener and nine in the second game.
The biggest of Central's Game 1 hits was an RBI single by Ernny Ordonez that capped a three-run rally in the bottom of the fifth inning. It followed three consecutive one-out walks by Paradise Valley starter Pedro Astacio, Alix Garcia's sacrifice fly and a steal of home by Liam Spence.
The Pumas took a 2-0 lead with two unearned runs in the top of the fifth.
CAC right-hander Nick Trogrlic-Iverson pitched a seven-inning complete game. Trogrlic-Iverson allowed five hits while striking out eight and walking three.
The Vaqueros went ahead 1-0 lead in Game 2 on a bases-loaded RBI groundout by Garcia. A potential big inning went by the wayside, however, when Spence was thrown out at the plate by Jake Halland attempting to score on a flyout to left.
Paradise Valley overcame the early deficit with a five-run fourth inning. The Pumas stayed comfortably in front by putting up one in the fifth, three in the seventh and three in the ninth.
Nate Young had an RBI groundout in the Central fifth following a one-out double by Daniel Cervantes. Reagan Teegarden went 3 for 4 with a two-out RBI single in the seventh. Ordonez, the ACCAC position player of the week for March 19-24, had two hits.
Paradise Valley starter Timothy Mendez lasted seven innings. He gave up four runs (two earned) and six hits. Frank Dickson and Haiden Hendricks each pitched one scoreless inning of relief.
Paradise Valley batted around in the fourth, getting RBI singles from Hunter Parks and Kobie Tinsley.
Josh Bristyan and Halland both had RBI doubles in the seventh. The Pumas' three-run ninth featured Paxton Ketchum's RBI single and an RBI double by Harrison Jones.
Bristyan and Tristan Thomas both had three hits for the Pumas. Getting two apiece were Ketchum, Jones, Walker Boyd and Parks.
NOTES: Central had won nine consecutive ACCAC games and was 18-1 at home prior to the Game 2 loss. … Four of the Vaqueros previous five setbacks were by one run and the other came in extra innings. … CAC right-hander RJ Dabovich was named ACCAC Division I pitcher of the week for March 19-23 after throwing seven shutout innings in last week's 5-2 victory over Mesa.