Pima Community College sports

Pima baseball earns at least 20 conference wins for fifth straight season under Ken Jacome

Pima freshman Collin Senior had three hits and seven RBIs in Saturday’s doubleheader sweep of Eastern Arizona (Gilbert Alcaraz/Special to AllSportsTucson.com)

Pima media-relations director Ray Suarez contributed information for this report:

The Pima Community College baseball team secured at least 20 wins in the ACCAC for the fifth straight year (excluding the 2020 season impacted by COVID-19) on Saturday as it swept Eastern Arizona College in a doubleheader at the Aztec West Campus Field.

The No. 19 Aztecs (34-10, 20-8 in ACCAC) have won five straight games and 12 of their last 14 games under coach Ken Jacome, who recently won his 200th game with the Aztecs.

Freshman Collin Senior closed out the day going 3 for 7 with four RBIs and a run. Sophomore Jontae Hennesy finished 4 for 6 with two RBIs, two runs and two walks. Sophomore Brant Kragel was 2 for 5 with three RBIs and a run. Sophomore J.T. Drake threw a complete game and fellow sophomore Garrett Hicks pitched 5 2/3 innings of shutout relief against EAC (21-16, 13-15).

Game 1: (19) Pima 2, Eastern Arizona 1: The Aztecs scored their two runs in the first inning and held off a Gila Monsters’ rally.

Kragel put the Aztecs on the board with an RBI double to plate sophomore David Shackelford, who walked in the previous at-bat. Senior followed with an RBI single to drive in Kragel.

Senior went 1 for 2 with an RBI while Kragel was 1 for 3 with an RBI and a run scored. Sophomore Antonio Avila finished the game 2 for 2.

The Gila Monsters cut Pima’s lead in half with a run in the fourth inning.

Drake did not give up a hit in the final three innings. He gave up one run (one earned) on three hits with seven strikeouts on 87 pitches.

Game 2: (19) Pima 12, Eastern Arizona 2 (7 innings): Senior hit a walk-off two-run RBI single to cap off a five-run seventh inning to earn the run-rule victory.

The Aztecs loaded the bases to begin the seventh, and Hennesy hit a two-run RBI single to bring around sophomore Austin Madsen (Canyon del Oro) and Avila to make it 9-2.

Sophomore Caleb Herd (Cienega) scored on a balk two batters later. Sophomore Ruben Castro (Tucson) hit a fielder’s choice to reach base, Shackelford hit a single and sophomore Benji Cazares (Tucson) hit a single to load the bases again to set up Senior’s walk-off.

Hennesy hit a lead-off triple in the first inning and scored on Castro’s groundout to tie the game at 1-1.

The Gila Monsters took the lead with a run in the second inning but the Aztecs responded in the third inning with two runs.

Kragel hit a two-run single to plate Hennesy and Castro, who hit back-to-back singles to start off the third inning as Pima took a 3-2 advantage.

The Aztecs padded their lead in the fifth inning when Madsen hit an RBI single, and Herd drove a two-run RBI single to make it 6-2.

Senior hit an RBI double in the sixth inning and finished 2 for 5 with three RBIs and a run while Hennesy went 3 for 4 with two RBIs and two runs. Madsen was 2 for 4 with an RBI and two runs. Herd closed it out by going 1 for 3 with two RBIs and a run and Kragel went 1 for 2 with two RBIs. Shackelford finished 2 for 2 with two runs and two walks.

Hicks got the win after he pitched the final 5 2/3 innings in relief, giving up two hits with nine strikeouts and one walk on 76 pitches.

The Aztecs will be back at the West Campus Aztec Field on Tuesday when they play Central Arizona in an ACCAC doubleheader. First game starts at noon.

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