Arizona Western rallies past CAC to sweep playoff series
Staff Reports Pina Central
YUMA — A baseball season that began with a 14-0 start came to a disappointing conclusion as Central Arizona College fell 8-5 to Arizona Western on Friday in Game 2 of their Division I Region 1 tournament semifinal series.
The second-seeded Matadors (45-13) overcame CAC's 5-4 lead when Sean Roby belted a three-run homer in the bottom of the fourth inning. Roby also had a two-run single in AWC's four-run second.
Central starter RJ Dabovich was struck on his left foot by a line drive in the second inning and had to leave the game shortly thereafter.
Trailing 4-0, the third-seeded Vaqueros (45-13) picked up two runs in the third and three in the fourth. But they generated just three hits while going scoreless in their final five at-bats.
The Matadors "did a good job of doing damage control," CAC coach Anthony Gilich said.
The Vaqueros went 0-6 against Western this season.
"They had our number," Gilich said. "It was a tough matchup."
Western reliever Robert Gonzalez allowed two unearned runs and struck out seven in 4 2/3 innings. Ramon Miranda came on with two on and two out in the eighth and retired four of the five batters he faced, striking out three.
The game was scoreless with two outs in the AWC second when Carlos Arellano hit a liner off Dabovich's foot that went for an RBI infield single. Dabovich tried to continue but was pulled after walking the next two batters — including Zach Huffins with the bases loaded — and giving up a two-run single to Roby.
CAC reliever Jason Nelson kept the Matadors off the board in the bottom of the third. The Vaqueros went ahead in the fourth on Spence's RBI single following walks to Reagan Teegarden and Reback, and a two-out error that let in two runs.
The lead did not last long.
Roby smacked his 17 th homer of the season after Snaider Torrealba and Huffins got aboard with two-out singles.
Western's final run in the seventh scored on a double-play grounder.
Reback went 3 for 3, and Spence had two of CAC's eight hits.
Although the Vaqueros matched their best win total under Gilich in his four years as the team's head coach, "it's not about the wins, even though you don't luck your way into 45-13," he said. "It's about advancing deep in the playoffs. We battled all year but fell short of our goal."