Riding behind a highly potent batting lineup and a constricting defensive effort, the Pima College baseball team swept Mesa in a doubleheader on Saturday at the Pima West baseball field. They won the first game 10-0 and the second one 5-2.
“We’ve been working hard in practice, just trying to put a barrel on the ball,” Pima coach Ken Jacome said. “(We were) trying to get good swings and good counts. The guys have done a really good job, over the past couple of weeks, swinging the bat and scoring some runs.”
This latest sweep is the second consecutive one for the Aztecs (20-10). They swept Paradise Valley on last week in Phoenix.
Pima won its first game by dominating the Thunderbirds at the plate and not allowing a run.
Sophomore Preston Clifford (Sabino grad who played the last two years at Washington State) began the scoring streak in the third inning with an RBI single that drove sophomore Romeo Ballesteros home.
Pima scored six more runs before the end of the third inning. Two more came home in the fourth inning.
Freshman Gage Mestas brought the final run of game one in with an RBI double that drove Clifford home.
Pitcher Jaren Jackson picked up the win, pitching five straight innings for the shutout.
“Everyone did their jobs,“ sophomore Jose Enriquez said. “Our pitching staff commanded the zone, threw a lot of strikes and gave us a chance to come back and hit. Everyone did their jobs, and at the end of the day, it’s a team effort.“
Jackson allowed five hits with five strikeouts on 56 pitches.
The second game was a lot more competitive.
“They made some adjustments, offensively, “Jacome said. “We gave ‘em a couple runs because we got behind on the count, walked a couple guys. But credit to our bullpen, they came in and put up zeros the rest of the game.”
Mesa grabbed an early lead in the first inning after a sacrifice-fly ball drove a player in.
Pima quickly responded in the second inning by scoring three runs. Enriquez hit a fly ball deep into right-center field for a double.
He later scored off of a passed ball that advanced him from third base to home plate.
Sophomore Fernando Loera hit a sacrifice-fly RBI to bring in freshman Andrew Stucky (Canyon Del Oro) for the next run.
Sophomore Josh Lackner, who reached base on a walk, scored the final run of the inning off of another error made by the catcher.
Mesa shortened Pima’s lead in the fourth inning after a fly-ball to center field drove a runner in from third base.
Freshman Joey Adge led off the fifth inning and hit a fly ball to right-center field for a single.
Mestas brought Adge home with an RBI single past the second baseman to increase Pima’s lead to 4-2.
Sophomore Emilio Corona, who committed to Arizona earlier this week, hit an RBI double that brought Mestas in for the final run of the game.
Pima didn’t let Mesa score for the remainder of the game and took the sweep.
Sophomore Bodhi Bolen got the win after making a relief appearance for freshman Matt Cornelius.
Sophomore Wilson Bannister saved the game, pitching the last two innings. He allowed only one hit and struck out three.
Mestas had a big day at the plate. He went 5 for 8 with two RBIs, three runs and four stolen bases.
Enriquez also had a great hitting day. He went 3 for 7 with two RBIs, three runs and three doubles.
Pima next plays at home Tuesday against the Langley Blaze in a non-conference doubleheader. The first game is set to begin at 12 p.m.