The Pima Community College baseball team's 2021 season came to a close on Saturday as the Aztecs fell in the NJCAA Region I, Division I Tournament.
The Aztecs scored 22 runs on the day but left 19 runners on base as they dropped two games at the West Campus Aztec Baseball Field.
- Game 1: (5) Yavapai College Roughriders 17, (2) Pima CC Aztecs 10: The Aztecs rallied from a 10-3 deficit to tie the game but the Roughriders scored seven runs in the top of the 9th inning to take the lead for good.
Down 10-3 heading into the 5th inning, the Aztecs cut into the Yavapai lead with three runs. Sophomore JJ Rollon (Skyline HS) hit a 2-run RBI triple and later scored on a throwing error to make it 10-6.
In the 8th inning, the Pima bats came alive again as freshman Alex Kelch hit an RBI single to drive in pinch runner Andre Greene (Rio Rico HS). Freshman Alec Avevedo (Nogales HS) followed with an RBI double to plate freshman Parker Schmidt to make it 10-8. Freshman Daniel Durazo (Salpointe Catholic HS) hit a groundout but it scored Kelch and sophomore Angel Ochoa (Canyon del Oro HS) tied the game at 10-10 with an RBI double to drive in Acevedo.
Durazo also hit an RBI single in the 1st inning and finished 3 for 5 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Rollon hit an RBI single in the 3rd inning and went 3 for 5 with three RBIs and a run scored. Ochoa hit a sacrifice-fly RBI in the 3rd and was 2 for 4 with two RBIs and a run.
Kelch finished 2 for 6 with an RBI and a run while Schmidt went 3 for 6 with two runs.
Freshman Kaden Palmer took the loss (3-2) as he pitched two-thirds of the 9th inning giving up seven runs (five earned) on six hits.
YAV 2 0 0 6 2 0 0 0 7 17 15 7
PCC 1 0 2 0 3 0 0 4 0 10 19 3
- Game 2 (Elimination Game): (3) Arizona Western College Matadors 13, (2) Pima CC Aztecs 12: The Aztecs fell short again as they were able to tie the game in the 4th inning but couldn't overtake the Matadors in the 9th.
Down 13-9 in the 9th inning, the Aztecs put the first two runners on base as sophomore Terrell Huggins (Cienega HS) drew a walk and freshman Romeo Ballesteros (Salpointe Catholic HS) hit a single. The Aztecs found themselves down to their final out but Kelch hit a 3-run homer to left field to cut the deficit. Rollon flied out to end the game.
Down 9-3 in the 4th inning, the Aztecs got some consistent hitting. Sophomore Bailey Seeger hit a sacrifice-fly RBI to plate Huggins. Rollon, Durazo and Ochoa hit three straight RBI singles. Then Acevedo tied the game at 9-9 with a 2-run RBI single to score Durazo and Ochoa.
Acevedo and Ballesteros had RBI doubles and Seeger hit an RBI single in the 2nd inning.
Acevedo finished 2 for 4 with three RBIs, a run scored and a walk while Ballesteros went 4 for 5 with an RBI and three runs. Seeger was 2 for 4 with two RBIs. Kelch finished 3 for 5 with three RBIs and two runs while Rollon went 3 for 6 with an RBI and a run.
Freshman Andrew Dennis took the loss (1-1) in relief as he pitched in the 6th inning giving up one run (one earned) on one hit with two walks.
AWC 4 1 1 3 0 1 1 0 2 13 17 0
PCC 0 3 0 6 0 0 0 0 3 12 18 2
The Aztecs finished the season with an overall record of 36-14 (the least amount of defeats in a season since 1987). They also went 27-11 in ACCAC conference play (most conference wins since 1991). This was Pima first appearance in the NJCAA Region I Tournament since 2014.