Central Arizona hit the ball well all day, more than a hit an inning, and thanks to a Cooper Esmay double down the third base line, the Vaqueros grabbed a Saturday split with the Phoenix College Bears by winning game two, 8-7.
6 Cooper Esmay
With game two tied 7-7, Tim Hergert (up to .300 on the year) singled to lead off the bottom of the eighth, clean-up hitter MJ bunted him over, then Cooper hit a hard ground ball down the third base line for a double scoring Hergert to give the Vaq's the 8-7 lead. Christian Botnick threw a perfect ninth to pick up the save to give Central a split on the day. Botnick has thrown 16 straight scoreless innngs, striking out 17 for an ERA somewhere around 0.00. Michael Lopez came in relief of Justin Seiwald to throw four innings giving up no earned runs.
"Those two really allowed us to stay in the game" said head coach Anthony Gilich of his bullet boys Lopez and Botnick.
In the lead-off position for the fourth straight game, Jaime Estrada (.370, 27 RS, 7SB) ripped a clutch two-bomber to give Central a 7-6 lead in the fifth inning. It was a fairly quiet sixth and seventh with Central giving up one tying, unearned run to set up a perfectly executed bottom of the eighth.
There's not much better than a leadoff hit when you really need it in a late inning, and a sac bunt from the cleanup hitter.
In game one, Central sprayed eight hits around but left 'em all out there except one, and Phoenix moved all their hits around for a 7-1 win. Starter George Castillo threw a terrific six innings before running into trouble in the seventh when The Bears plated five runs to take command.A little extra on this one? Castillo with the ol' high hard one.
The Vaqueros are 15-6 in their last 21 games.
CAC stole six bases on the day.
Central now has the third best ERA in the ACCAC at 3.27.
Next up: Central travels to Pima Community College for a Tuesday DH.