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Central Takes Two From Phoenix College

Ryley Widell
Ryley Widell

Vaquero pitching had a big day in Coolidge on Saturday giving up two runs in two games, and striking out 29 batters. There's no way to win baseball games when you're striking out 29 times in 16 innings.

Please sit sir.

Central played well in all phases taking both games from the Phoenix College Bears Saturday afternoon, 7-0 and 3-2.

Game 1

In the seven inning first game, Grant Townsend took the pill and threw six innings. Nobody scored, he struck out nine Bears, walking one inconsequential hitter. Townsend's ERA is now at 1.58, fourth in the ACCAC and he's currently second in K's with 74 in 57 IP. Everyone knew he was much improved, but this is.....

In honor and acknowledgement of Townsend's fine pitching performance, Sati Santa Cruz struck out the side for him in the seventh, giving Phoenix no chance.

Roger Varela is now on fire, Pikai Duque Winchester and Alix Garcia are still on fire, and Andrew Chartrand and Jake Vander Wal each got two hits, Chartrand driving in two. Duque doubled twice, driving in one and scoring, Varela doubled and scored twice. Central moved the runners around in key spots today.

It seemed like the game was over early, with Central jumping on top in the first 2-0, and leading 5-0 after four innings. 

Game 2

Ryley Widell started and threw 6.2 innings before Nick Trogerlic-Iverson finished off the game's 2.1 striking out five of his seven batters, walking none.

No chance.

Widell ended with a season-high twelve strikeouts. The Central staff leads the conference in k's per nine at 11.19 and in total strikeouts, by far, with 390 in a little over 313 innings pitched. 

The Central pitching staff is number two in the country with total strikeouts, seventh in the nation in team ERA at 2.81, and fourth in K/9.

SEE NJCAA PITCHING STATS

Varela singled three times driving in the go-ahead run, and Pikai drove in another. Nice move to move him to third in the order so he can bring in more runners with the hot bat. One of Varela's singles was a safety squeeze bunt in the bottom of the seventh. After an Isaiah Garcia leadoff double, Chartrand bunted him to third, and Devin Ray was hit by a pitch. Varela bunted perfectly, confusing the Phoenix pitcher who decided on a toss home, and pinch runner Makoa Rosario was safe with the go-ahead run.

"Somehow, when the intent is to sacrifice, you end up moving runners two bases" said head coach Anthony Gilich.

After the Bears got the leadoff on first in the top of the ninth in a 3-2 game, a two hopper to Varela for a 5-4-3 erased him, and Iverson struck out the final batter for the win.

Central now moves a half game ahead of last years Division 1 National Champion Yavapai for the fourth D1 play-off position.

-Blade

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