One play-off team showed up and the other one didn't in the regular season ending DH against Cochise Community College on Saturday.
The one that showed up, really showed up.
Central Arizona College took the final two regular season games with scores of 5-1 and 12-2 on Saturday.
"We played pretty good!" said the head coach Anthony Gilich. Please note the exclamation mark. It was pitching, hitting, defense, and surely, baserunning that sent the Vaqueros to a fairly easy afternoon, and at the plate, there's a Brennan Reback story.
Reback had a perfect double-header reaching base five times out of seven, and the other two at bats were a sacrifice bunt and sacrifice fly. Call it 5-5 with a double, triple, stolen base, and four rbi's on the day. The Vaqueros had 19 hits on the day and game two was a run-rule 7 inning game.
In game one, RJ Dabovich threw a nice four innings of the seven inning game and won his ninth. Again, the Central bullpen of Joe Standley and Jason Nelson pulled a "please sit down sir" for the final three innings and in a rarity, a Vaqureo earned a save. Nelson earned his first one of the year and Central finished the season with a grand total of nine saves out of it's 45 wins. Too many blow-outs for anyone to earn a save.
Saves haven't ever been important to this team anyway, at least in the past four years. They shouldn't be important in MLB either. There aren't enough good closers to even call it a status or role.
I don't get "closers". Half the time they don't even close out.
Matt Dalke had a fabulous regular season finishing with an ERA of 0.77. The man gave up two earned runs all year long. Joe Standley finished with an ERA 1.42 with many more inning pitched as a set-up man. 38 innings pitched with six earned runs given up. Let the words speak for themselves.
As a team, Central finished the year with an ERA of 2.47 and any coach will tell you that anything under three runs a game gives your club a very nice chance at winning baseball games. The team ERA was first in the ACCAC for the year which is a good thing to have in your game bag when you start the regional play-offs. And hmm Central led the ACCAC in team batting average also.
The Region 1 playoffs begin at 2:00PM Thursday with the #3 seed Vaqueros visiting the #2 seed in Arizona Western. It is still hard to believe this team finished five games back of first place South Mountain, having won 45 games on the season.
It was a final regular season record of 45-11 and each loss was a conference loss. Central finished 20-0 in non-conference play in 2018.
Game times are 2:00PM on Thursday, 2:00PM on Friday, 12 noon on Saturday.