Pima College Aztecs
PCC baseball winds up 2022 season with sweep of Eastern Az
The Pima Community College baseball team (38-18, 23-15 in ACCAC) closed out the 2022 season on Saturday hosting Eastern Arizona College (22-32, 11-27) at the West Campus Aztec Baseball Field.
Sophomore Preston Clifford (Sabino HS) finished the day 4 for 7 with four RBIs, a run scored and a walk. Freshman Gage Mestas was 4 for 8 with three runs scored. The Aztecs received quality starts on the mound from sophomore Darius Garcia and freshman Aiden May.
Game 1: Pima CC Aztecs 3, Eastern Arizona College Gila Monsters 2: The Aztecs won it in the 7th inning when Mestas scored on a wild pitch.
Down 1-0, the Aztecs took the lead in the 4th inning. Clifford and sophomore Emilio Corona hit back-to-back singles to lead-off. Freshman Trent Kiraly tied the game with an RBI single to bring in Clifford. Sophomore Jose Enriquez followed with a sacrifice-fly RBI to score Corona and give Pima a 2-1 lead.
Kiraly finished 1 for 3 with an RBI while Mestas and Clifford each were 1 for 3 with a run scored. Corona was 2 for 2 with a run and Zastrow finished 2 for 3.
Sophomore Wilson Bannister picked up the win after he pitched one inning, giving up one run (one earned) on one hit with one strikeout and one walk. Garcia started the game and pitched five and two-third innings, giving up one run (one earned) on five hits with three strikeouts and two walks.
EAC 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 2 8 1
PCC 0 0 0 2 0 0 1 3 9 0
W – Bannister (3-1). 2B – Zastrow.
Game 2: Pima CC Aztecs 10, Eastern Arizona College Gila Monsters 3: The Aztecs scored eight unanswered runs and held the Eastern Arizona offense at bay.
Clifford gave Pima the lead in the 3rd inning when he hit a 2-run RBI single to bring around sophomore Josh Lackner and Mestas.
The Aztecs tacked on another four runs in the 4th inning. Sophomore Alec Acevedo (Nogales HS) drove a pitch to center field for a solo home run to make it 3-1. Clifford provided another 2-run RBI single to score Mestas and sophomore Romeo Ballesteros (Salpointe Catholic HS) to make it 6-1. Sophomore Fernando Loera stole home plate earlier in the inning.
Corona hit a team-leading 13th home run in the 8th inning as he drove in Ballesteros to help seal it.
Clifford finished the game 3 for 4 with four RBIs and a walk. Loera went 2 for 4 with an RBI and two runs scored while Corona was 1 for 4 with three RBIs and a run. Mestas went 3 for 5 with two runs and Ballesteros scored two runs and had a walk.
May picked up the win, pitching five innings while giving up one run (one earned) on four hits with four strikeouts and one walk on 73 pitches.
EAC 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 3 11 3
PCC 0 0 2 4 0 2 0 2 x 10 14 0
W – May (6-1). 2B – Enriquez. 3B – Acevedo. HR – Corona, Acevedo. SB – Loera 2, Pintor, Clifford, Mestas.
Coach’s Quote: “They played hard, they knew there wasn’t much on the line because we had been eliminated but the one thing I asked of them earlier in the week, was to finish the season playing hard and they did a good job of that today,” Pima baseball head coach Ken Jacome said. “It’s a really good team but we’re in a really good conference so you got to be really good in order to get to the playoffs.
“We just didn’t get it done this year but good things are happening in our program and the future is bright. We have good players, good kids who are hard workers and they understand what it takes to be successful. I’m excited about the future.”
The Aztecs surpassed their win total from the last couple of years (with the exception of the 2020 COVID season) with 38 wins; the most in program history since 1991 (41 wins). They also finished with a 27-4 record at the West Campus Aztec Baseball Field.