Sacco collects 3 hits, adds RBI in season-opening win for Yavapai
MESA — Dominic Hamel threw six strong innings of shutout baseball, Tommy Sacco had three hits and the Yavapai College baseball team opened the 2019 season with a 3-0 win over Gateway Community College on Friday afternoon.
Christian Encarnacion-Strand, hitting third Friday, and Will Long each had an RBI in a two-run fourth inning for a Roughrider (1-0, 0-0 ACCAC) club that scattered four hits against freshman righty Seth Sas.
Sacco’s RBI single in the sixth scored Channy Ortiz to make it 3-0, which was more than enough as the Gecko’s were never able to get things going offensively, collecting only three hits all afternoon.
Despite throwing only eight first-pitch strikes against 23 batters faced, Hamel (1-0) struck out three and walked three on 77 pitches, 39 of which were strikes.
“Dom did a great job being efficient with his pitch count. When he got into trouble the defense made plays behind him,” Yavapai skipper Ryan Cougill said.
Marcus Christy pitched three innings of relief and struck out three to earn he save.
Ortiz, Sacco and Long combined to go 5 for 11, while the rest of the lineup 0 for 19.
Antoine Mistico was 1 for 2 with two walks for Gateway (1-4, 0-0 ACCAC), while Gary Mattis and Josh Glenn each went 1 for 3.
Yavapai turned four double plays on the infield Friday.
“When things were tight, I liked how are guys did not seem flustered,” Cougill said.
Yavapai continues its four-game road trip this weekend in game one of a doubleheader Saturday, the first against South Mountain Community College (4-0, 0-0 ACCAC) at 2 p.m., then Central Arizona College (2-2, 0-0 ACCAC) at 6 p.m.
Both Central Arizona and South Mountain received votes in this season’s inaugural Top 20 NJCAA poll Jan. 22.
Brian M. Bergner Jr. is news/sports editor for The Daily Courier of Prescott News Network. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and SoundCloud at @TheEditorDesk. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 928-445-3333, ext. 1106.