Ed Petruska-Contributing Writer Pinal Central
SIGNAL PEAK — The offense was in overdrive, and that allowed the Central Arizona College baseball team to rack up yet another lopsided victory.
Scoring multiple runs in each of their last four at-bats, the Vaqueros thrashed Scottsdale 18-4 on Saturday. The game ended in the seventh inning under the 10-run rule.
Six players drove in at least two runs as Central, ranked No. 19 in the NJCAA Division I poll, raised its record to 37-7 overall and 17-7 in the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference. The Vaqueros are 22-2 at home this season.
Leading 1-0, Central tacked on eight runs in the third inning, three in the fourth, two in the fifth and four in the sixth. The Vaqueros finished with 15 hits.
"Overall it was a pretty good day," CAC coach Anthony Gilich said.
But he wasn't totally pleased.
"We didn't play a very good game in terms of handling the ball (Central committed three errors) and we missed some signs," Gilich said. "Those are things we need to clean up."
Luke Schwartz made the most of a rare start, going 4 for 4 with two RBIs batting in the No. 7 hole.
"By far that was the best moment," Gilich said. "Not too many guys on our team outwork him. He just hasn't had many opportunities. I told him he earned this (starting) opportunity, but that it was up to him to do something with it. He made the most of it, for sure. All the guys are pretty happy for him."
Schwartz drove in two runs with a third-inning double. He singled in the second, fourth and fifth.
Armando Aguilar capped CAC's hit parade with a three-run pinch homer to right-center. It landed "somewhere in Coolidge," Gilich joked. The sixth-inning blast came off Scottsdale's sixth pitcher of the game.
Central starter Jason Nelson struck out the side in order in both the first and second innings, then pitched a 1-2-3 third. But he seemed to lose his rhythm after the Vaqueros sent 13 batters to the plate in the bottom of the third.
Division II Scottsdale (18-25, 12-17 ACCAC) scored two runs in the fourth, capitalizing on a leadoff triple by Nick Grossman, a walk, two consecutive errors and a sacrifice fly.
The Artichokes had another sacrifice fly in the fifth following two walks by Nelson (5-0, 3.99 ERA), who allowed two hits, struck out eight and walked four.
"Sometimes a pitcher can cool off when you have a big inning and he's sitting around," Gilich said. "But he did all right. We didn't help him by kicking the ball around."
Avery Jones pitched a scoreless sixth, aided by an inning-ending double play following CAC's third error. Niko Piazza drove in Scottsdale's final run with a pinch double off Koa Eastlack in the seventh.
Jake Vander Wal put the Vaqueros up 1-0 with an RBI single in the first. Vander Wal was hit by a pitch in his next two at-bats, then drew walks in each of his final two plate appearances.
The first nine Central batters reached base in the third. Garcia drove in two runs with a single. Ordonez started the rally with an RBI double and ended it with a sacrifice fly.
Diehl's fourth-inning double drove in two runs, and Dudden had a two-run single in the fifth.
Scottsdale's pitchers combined for five walks, three hit batters, five wild pitches (two of which allowed a run to score) and a run-scoring balk.
Saturday's win completed a home-and-home sweep of the Artichokes. RJ Davovich (7-2, 1.35) went 6 2/3 innings in Friday's 6-0 victory at SCC, striking out seven and walking one. Brett Harris was 2 for 3 with a home run and two RBIs.