Roughriders sweep No. 7-ranked Arizona Western in Yuma
Junior College Baseball
Updated as of Tuesday, March 5, 2019 11:22 PM
Yavapai College to play first 28 games on the road in 2019; home opener set for March 26
YUMA — Christian Encarnacion-Strand was 3 for 5 with a home run and three RBIs, Gianni Tomasi knocked in three runs and the Yavapai College baseball team used a five-run rally in each of the fourth and fifth innings to beat Arizona Western 14-3 in game two of a doubleheader Tuesday afternoon.
It is the third straight victory for the Roughriders (13-7, 5-5 ACCAC), which collected 14 hits, only two of which went for extra bases.
“He’s a presence more than anything,” Yavapai skipper Ryan Cougill said in a phone interview about Encarnacion-Strand. “He has things to work on, but he is producing. People know who he is in the lineup, and every time he comes up it’s a chance to swing things our way.”
Yavapai College beat the Matadors (17-7, 8-4 ACCAC), ranked No. 7 in the country via a NJCAA Top 20 poll released Tuesday, in game one for a doubleheader sweep, 6-2.
“This team has given the first, second and third place teams their conference losses,” Cougill said about South Mountain (10-1 in ACCAC play), Cochise (7-1) and now Arizona Western.
The Roughriders currently sits in fourth place in the ACCAC standings.
Tomasi’s 2 for 4 day with three RBIs came out of the nine-hole for Yavapai, while Nick Adams was 2 for 3 with an RBI, a walk and two runs scored. Will Long, Logan Williams and Tyler Boggs each had two hits in the win.
On the mound, Matt Novis earned the victory after allowing only one run on three hits in five innings pitched. He threw 81 pitches, striking out five and walking two.
Arizona Wester pitcher Gabe Ponce surrendered much of the damage Tuesday, allowing 13 runs, 11 earned, on 12 hits on 131 pitches thrown. He struck out seven and walked four in the loss.
Williams was 2 for 4 with a double and three RBIs, Tommy Sacco added three hits and the Roughriders earned a 6-2 win over Arizona Western in game one Tuesday.
Starting pitcher Tyler Smith pitched a complete game, allowing two runs on six hits and struck out seven in 111 pitches.
“He said he didn’t have his best stuff, so it was nice to see him compete,” Cougill said about Williams. “I think it was one of those where he thought he didn’t have his best stuff, but he still attacked hitters. … Western has a good lineup, so for him to do that was pretty good.”
The Roughriders have now played 20 straight road games to begin the season due to weather and epic snowstorms in the Prescott area in recent weeks.
If the current schedule holds, Yavapai will play 28 straight on the road before their 2019 home opener against Paradise Valley Community College on March 26.
For now, Cougill’s club is focused on doubleheader with Pima Community College on Saturday, March 9. First pitch in Tucson is scheduled for noon.
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.