Pima Community College sports

No. 10 Pima baseball to host regional semifinal series against Arizona Western starting Thursday

Former Tucson High teammates Nick Arias (left) and Benji Cazares were pivotal in Pima clinching the No. 2 seed in the upcoming NJCAA Region I, Division I best-of-three semifinals series (Photos by Gilbert Alcaraz/Special to AllSportsTucson.com)

Pima media-relations director Ray Suarez contributed information to this report

Pima’s baseball team will host the NJCAA Region I, Division I best-of-three semifinals beginning Thursday as the No. 2 seed against No. 3 Arizona Western.

Times for the games have yet to be announced.

Pima (42-14, 26-12 in ACCAC) closed out the regular season with a split of a doubleheader on Saturday at South Mountain (32-23, 22-16).

The No. 10 Aztecs secured the No. 2 seed with the one victory.

Sophomore Nick Arias (Tucson) finished the day 4 for 8 with three RBIs and three runs. Freshman Collin Senior was 2 for 8 with three RBIs and two runs. Sophomore Benji Cazares (Tucson) went 2 for 5 with two RBIs and two runs.

Game 1: (10) Pima 10, South Mountain 7: The Aztecs rallied with four runs in the top of the seventh inning to take the lead for good.

Cazares broke a 7-7 tie with two outs with a two-run single to center field, bringing around Arias and Senior, who had singled and walked, respectively, to get on base with one out. Sophomore Antonio Avila capped the inning with an RBI double to plate Cazares.

Sophomore Elijah Reeves (Marana) drew a one-out walk and scored on a wild pitch to tie the game.

The Aztecs trailed 6-3 heading into the fifth inning.

Reeves drew a walk, stole second base and advanced to third on a wild pitch.

With two outs, Senior hit a home run and Pima cut the lead to 6-5.

Sophomore Jontae Hennesy kept it close in the sixth inning as he hit a solo home run to center field on a full count. That cut the lead to 7-6.

Arias hit an RBI double in the first inning as he finished the game 2 for 3 with an RBI and a run. Senior went 1 for 3 with two RBIs and two runs. Hennesy was 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run. Cazares finished 1 for 1 with two RBIs and a run. Reeves was 0 for 1 with three runs and two walks. Sophomore Caleb Herd (Cienega) had an RBI single in the second inning and went 1 for 2.

Sophomore Tommy White got the win as he pitched two innings in relief, giving up one unearned run on three hits with two strikeouts and two walks. Freshman Auggie Richie (Sabino) picked up the save as he got the Cougars in order in the seventh inning.

Game 2: South Mountain 7, (10) Pima 5: The Aztecs held a 4-1 lead but the Cougars scored six runs in the bottom of the eighth inning for the victory.

Arias hit a solo home run to left field with one out in the ninth inning. With two outs, Hennesy drew a walk and Cummings hit a single to put the tying run on base, but Avila struck out to end the game.

The Cougars struck first in the second inning but the Aztecs took the lead in the third. They loaded the bases with no outs and Arias and Senior hit back-to-back groundouts to each bring in a run as the Aztecs took a 2-1 lead.

Freshman Ray Jesse singled to start off the seventh inning and scored on an error to make it 3-1.

In the eighth, freshman Chase Cummings reached base on an error to start the inning, and two batters later, was driven in by sophomore Dom Felix (Canyon del Oro). Felix’s RBI double increased the lead to 4-1.

Arias finished 2 for 5 with two RBIs and a run. Cummings went 2 for 5 with a run while Felix was 1 for 3 with an RBI. Jesse closed out the game going 1 for 4 with two runs and Cazares finished 1 for 4 with a run.

Freshman Seth Lee took the loss in relief as he gave up four runs (four earned) on three hits and two walks in the eighth inning.

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