Roughriders Hold Off Matadors
The Roughrider baseball team advanced to the NJCAA Region I Division I Championship Series Friday afternoon with a 14-13 victory over Arizona Western College. YC wins the three-game series 2-0. Yavapai’s overall record is now 40-16. Arizona Western concludes their season with a 32-23 mark.
Alexis Cruz rocked Arizona Western with two home runs. Alexis Cruz went 3-3 in the game with three RBIs and three runs scored. Alexis Cruz homered in the first and third innings.
Each team blasted the other’s pitching, and there were 27 total runs and 28 hits during the game.
Jake Kolterman got the win for Yavapai College Roughriders despite allowing eight runs over 5 2/3 innings. He struck out three, walked four and surrendered 10 hits.
The Roughriders closer Nicko Ortega put away the final two outs to record the save.
Arizona Western took an early 5-0 lead in the first inning but the Roughriders responded with five runs of their own on a two-run double by Brock Hartley, an error, and a two-run home run by Alexis Cruz.
The Matadors added two more runs in the second inning and YC countered with a lone run in their second and one in the third to tie the score.
Yavapai promptly took the lead in their half of the fourth when Willie Calhoun launched his 29th home run of the year over the right field fence. The home run tied the single season home run record held by Brian Deak. YC tacked on two more runs in the inning.
AWC cut into the lead with a single run in the sixth inning but the Roughriders tacked on another three runs in the eighth. A passed ball scored Alexis Olmeda to get Yavapai on the board in the inning. That was followed up by Brody Clifford’s double, plating Austin Paschke and Alexis Cruz.
The Matadors did not roll over in the ninth as they pushed five runs across the plate before Nicko Ortega got the final two outs to help the Roughriders advance to the Championship Series.
Yavapai now awaits the winner of the Cochise/South Mountain series. Both teams have won one game in the series with the deciding game being played on Saturday. If Cochise wins, Yavapai will travel to Douglas for the Championship Series. If South Mountain wins, Yavapai will host the title games beginning Thursday, May 7th.