Pima Community College sports

Pima tops Arizona Western in Game 1 of ACCAC Division I, Region I best-of-three semifinals

Pima’s David Shackelford (12) is congratulated by Antonio Avila after hitting a home run in the seventh inning Thursday (Gilbert Alcaraz/Special to AllSportsTucson.com)

Pima’s baseball team is one game away from advancing to the ACCAC Division I, Region I championship series after beating Arizona Western 7-6 in Game 1 of the best-of-three semifinal series Thursday at West Campus Aztec Field.

The second-seeded Aztecs (43-14) will host No. 3 Arizona Western (37-16) in Game 2 on Friday at 2 p.m.

In the other semifinal Thursday, No. 4 South Mountain upset No. 1 Central Arizona 14-6 at Coolidge. The second game of that series is also Friday at 2 p.m.

If Pima beats Arizona Western and South Mountain (33-23) defeats Central Arizona (44-13) on Friday, the Aztecs will host the region championship series.

The Aztecs overcame a four-run deficit after the first inning to Arizona Western in Thursday’s game.

The game was tied at 6 in the bottom of the seventh inning when David Shackelford hit a solo home run to left field to lead off the inning.

Pima cut the lead to 4-1 on Jontae Hennessy’s RBI single with two outs in the third. The hit scored Elijah Reeves (Marana), who earlier walked. Collin Senior singled to advance Reeves before Hennessy’s single.

The Aztecs rallied for four runs in the fourth to take a 5-4 lead.

Their first three batters — Shackelford, Kito Castro (Tucson) and Antonio Avila — reached on singles to load the bases.

Caleb Herd (Cienega) followed with a walk to force in Shackelford and cut the lead to 4-2.

Reeves followed with a two-run single to tie the game at 4.

With one out, Herd scored on a fielder’s choice to put the Aztecs ahead.

Pima loaded the bases again in the fifth before Herd hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield to increase the lead to 6-4.

Arizona Western rallied for two runs in the sixth to tie the game at 6 before Shackelford hit his go-ahead homer in the seventh.

Garrett Hicks (6-1) got the win after pitching 3 2/3 scoreless innings in relief. He allowed only one hit, struck out one and didn’t walk a batter. He retired the side in the ninth inning to seal the victory.

Pima had five players with at least two hits as part of its 12-hit attack.

Hennessy led all of them with three hits. Reeves finished 2 for 4 with a run and two RBIs. Shackelford was 2 for 4 with two runs and an RBI, Senior was 2 for 5 with an RBI and Castro went 2 for 4 with a run.

Sahuarita grad Diego Alvarez was the starting pitcher for Pima. He recorded a no-decision in 5 1/3 innings of work. He allowed nine hits and five earned runs with four strikeouts and a walk.

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