"Never thought I'd be rooting for South, but I'm their biggest fan right now" said Vaqueros head coach Anthony Gilich before the final weekend of doubleheaders started at 12 noon Saturday.
With hopes of a South Mountain sweep of slumping Arizona Western on Saturday, all Central Arizona College would then have to do was split the weekend doubleheader with NJCAA #11 Cochise College.
Central did what they had to with a split, but South Mountain didn't.
Arizona Western swept the DH with South Mountain to clinch the third seed for the Regional Division 1 play-offs, South Mountain ends up with the fourth and final seed, and Central Arizona a game back of the mess at the top.
Cochise's Jordon West threw a five hitter and Vaq's George Castillo scattered seven hits and Central lost game one 4-0, the first shutout of the Vaqueros all season. The Central pitching staff recorded five shutouts of their own during the regular season.
The bats came alive in game two with another MJ homerun and five doubles as Central clipped the Apaches 9-6.
This ends the regular season with Central finishing strong but a game back.
"We dug ourselves too big of a hole early in the season" added Gilich. "That, and Coach A'Hearn cropping his beard two weeks ago did us in. I tried to talk him out of it, but a man's got to do what a man's got to do."
The Vaqueros will lose eleven sophomores (seniors) but will return with a very strong pitching staff for next year and again Central will "reload, not rebuild" as hitting coach Jerry Hardin always says.
Up next: The Central Arizona DB9 Post Season Awards. To view the categories, click here.