Sun Belt College League

Sun Belt College League: Semifinals set after Gamblers, Nighthawks pull off upsets

Following is a report with some of the information provided by Kino Baseball League president Bill Leith, who organizes the Sun Belt College League:

The Sun Belt College League playoffs opened up on Wednesday night with two play-in games, and the victors in both games came from the lower seeds to create a couple of upsets.


Isaac Silva (Eastern Arizona) and Kamden Kautz (Washington & Jefferson) hooked up for another outstanding pitchers duel as they both did on June 21 when both pitchers struck a combined 25 batters in a 4-0 win for the Gauchos with Kautz pitching a complete game. Silva did not get a decision but pitched eight masterful innings.

Eastern Arizona College’s Isaac Silva is has a 1.65 ERA in 43 2/3 innings pitched in the Sun Belt College League with 77 strikeouts and 19 walks (Andy Morales/

Roles got reversed in Wednesday night’s play-in playoff game as the sixth-seeded Gamblers rode the arm of Silva and defeated the Gauchos and Kautz 4-0 win.

The win advances the Gamblers to the best-of-three semifinal series against the defending league champions and top-seeded Vail Rebels starting Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Kino Annex Field No. 5.

Silva, whose fastball has been timed at 94 mph, threw eight innings of one-hit ball and struck out 12.

Gamblers manager Erik Sabel, a reliever who was part of the Arizona Diamondbacks’ 2001 World Series championship team, provides information to coaches and scouts weekly, and he has mentioned that Silva should be recruited by Division I programs.

Alex Urias-Calvillo (Walden Grove HS) pitched a flawless ninth inning to preserve the win for the Gamblers.

Ivan Villa (Central Lakes-Minnesota) had two hits and drove in two runs and Octavio Mendivil (Chula Vista, Calif. Otay Ranch HS) had two hits for the Gamblers.

Michael Kochanski had the lone hit for the Gauchos. Kautz was the losing pitcher, going eight innings and striking out 11 with five hits allowed.


The night of upsets continued as the fifth-seeded Nighthawks defeated the fourth-seeded Kings to advance to the best-of-three semifinal series against the second-seeded Catalina Aztecs starting Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Kino Annex Field No. 7.

Josue Franco (Ironwood Ridge HS) had three hits and drove in a run. Alex Londono (Arizona Christian College) led the Nighthawks with four hits, included two doubles and three RBIs. Adian Duarte (Cienega HS) had two hits and drove in two runs. Shane Melick (Ironwood Ridge HS) homered.

Orlando Romero (Adams State College/Tucson HS graduate) had three hits including a homer and Luke Serna (Buena HS) had two hits and drove in two runs for the Kings.

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