Central Arizona picked up a much needed split in the Tuesday double header at Yavapai College on Tuesday afternoon, although it took until the ninth inning to decide that.
This is one heck of a tough stretch for these Vaqueros and with the split, Central has a solid hold on post season tournament play. The first four D1 teams in conference play head to the quest for a trip to Grand Junction for the JUCO World Series, and unless something really bizarre happens, it look like Yavapai will be left out, although you never know. As of Tuesday, Yavapai is five games behind the fourth place conference team in Cochise, with only six games remaining.
What remains is a battle for home seeding between three teams.
South Mountain College is on a 16 game winning streak and is leading the ACCAC by six games. That's almost a lock. Arizona Western is currently second, and a game behind Western are these Vaqueros, who lead the fourth place team in Cochise by a single game. Lots will be decided in the next two weeks as Central has sets with South Mountain, Eastern Arizona, and Cochise. With a sweep of South Mountain this weekend, there's a shot at a first place finish for Central.
Nick Trogrlic-Iverson went the full six on Tuesday and struck out eight Roughriders, giving up only four hits and has been so consistent all year. But when you can't score you can't win and Central fell 3-2. Iverson held Yavapai to one run for five innings. Central had RBI's from Brett Harris and Alix Garcia and held a 2-1 lead until Yavapai pecked around for two runs in the bottom of the sixth and held on for the 3-2 win.
Gotta win that second one.
In the nine inning second game, it's another game where every pitch matters. Intense. The rest of the season will be this way. It's home-and-away this weekend against South Mountain, two at home against last place Eastern Arizona and the yearly final series at home versus Cochise. Five of the final six regular season games will be at The Big House.
Even a 3-0 lead is tense as Central had and going into the ninth the baseball game was tied at four. Catcher Nick Cheema and second baseman Liam Spence had two hits apiece and Jacob Hilton threw another good five innings giving up only an earned run, three overall, and the Vaqueros scored twice in the top of the ninth to let Joe Standley shut down Yavapai in the bottom. In the ninth-Cheema singled, Harris laid down a nice sac bunt. With one out, Spence walked, and Ernny Ordonez singled for the first RBI. Jake Vander Wal then hit tricky infield grounder to score the second run. Central had RBI's from five different hitters. The final was 6-4.
This is what we all play for right? First pitch Friday is at 2:00PM.