Baseball Earns a Play Off Birth After Split with Eastern Arizona
The Roughrider baseball team secured the second seed in the NJCAA Region I Division I playoffs on the final day of the regular season with a doubleheader split Saturday afternoon with Eastern Arizona College. The games were moved to Bradshaw Mountain High School due to unplayable field conditions at Roughrider Park. Yavapai dropped the opener 7-5 and won the second in dramatic, familiar fashion, 12-9. YC concludes the regular season with an impressive 38-16 overall record and a 22-14 ACCAC mark.
In the opener, Brock Hartley did all he could to give the Roughriders a boost, but it wasn’t enough to get past the Gila Monsters
Hartley got a hit in each of his three at bats. He singled in the second and fourth innings and homered in the seventh inning.
Jake Kolterman was the game’s losing pitcher. He allowed seven runs in four innings, walked one and struck out four.
Eastern Arizona scored two runs in the second inning to take the early lead and scored five runs in the fourth inning to put the Riders in a seemingly insurmountable hole.
Yavapai finally got on the board and back in the game in the seventh and final inning but the rally fell short. YC scored on an RBI double by John King, a three-run home run by Luke Doyle, and a solo home run by Brock Hartley fueled Yavapai College Roughriders ‘s comeback.
In the second game, the feeling of déjà vu was overwhelming. As he did on Tuesday against Arizona Western College, Alexis Olmeda crushed a walk-off three-run blast in the 10th inning to give the Green and Gold the victory they needed for the playoff berth.
Olmeda racked up three RBIs on two hits for the Roughriders. He singled in the third inning and homered in the tenth inning.
Each team blasted the other’s pitching, and there were 21 total runs and 28 hits during the game. There were seven pitchers used in the game as the two skippers searched for any way to finish it off.
Degan Harte got the win for home team. He pitched three shutout innings. He struck out two, walked none and surrendered one hit.
Home runs for YC came when Brody Clifford homered in the second inning, Brock Hartley homered in the fifth inning, his second of the day, Austin Paschke homered in the sixth inning, and Olmeda homered in the tenth inning.
The top of the first saw Eastern Arizona take an early lead, 3-0.
Yavapai pushed two runs over in the second inning and tied the game in the third. EAC briefly took the lead in the fifth inning with a lone run, but the Riders answered with four in their half of the inning on a solo home run by Brock Hartley, an RBI double by Clifford, and a two-run single by Cooper Goldby.
The Gila Monsters retook the lead in the sixth inning with 5 runs. Yavapai tied the game in their half, with two runs and the game remained tied through regulation innings leading up to the heroics from Olmeda in the bottom of the tenth.
The NJCAA Region I Division I playoffs will begin on Thursday, April 30th against Arizona Western College. The first round will be a best of three series. The games will be single nine-inning affairs with one game being played on each day.