Pima Community College sports

Drake’s complete-game shutout propels Pima to region semifinal series victory

Texas Tech commit JT Drake was the winning pitcher for Pima in its semfinal victory over Arizona Western (Gilbert Alcaraz/Special to AllSportsTucson.com)

The Pima Community College baseball team is heading back to the Region I, Division I championship round for a second consecutive season.

The No. 2 Aztecs (44-14) defeated No. 3 Arizona Western 4-0 on Friday in Game 2 of the Region I, Division I semifinals to earn the sweep.

Pima will play the winner of No. 1 Central Arizona-No. 4 South Mountain. The series is tied at one win each and the deciding Game 3 is Saturday at Central Arizona at 12:00 p.m.

If the Vaqueros win, the Aztecs will play at Central Arizona next week. If the Cougars win, the Aztecs will host the best-of-3 series at the West Campus Aztec Field.

Sophomore right-hander J.T. Drake, who is headed to Texas Tech, pitched a complete game, giving up three hits with 11 strikeouts and no walks. He retired 11 straight between the first and fourth innings and produced five innings where he got the Matadors out in order.

“I felt great, the confidence my team gives me to play makes these performances possible,” Drake said. “I wanted to make sure to mix in my off-speeds really well, and keeping them off-balance the whole game, was very effective.”

The Aztecs got on the board in the fourth inning when sophomore Ruben Castro (Tucson) hit an RBI double to score sophomore David Shackelford, who reached base on a fielder’s choice.

Sophomore Jontae Hennesy hit a lead-off single in the sixth inning and advanced on the basepaths until he scored on a passed ball to make it 2-0.

Sophomore Caleb Herd (Cienega) hit an RBI double with one out in the eighth inning to score sophomore Antonio Avila. Herd later scored on an error.

Shackelford finished the game 2 for 4 with a run while Herd went 2 for 3 with an RBI and a run. Castro was 1 for 3 with an RBI and Avila and Henessy each were 1 for 3 with a run. Sophomore Elijah Reeves (Marana) was 1 for 4 with an RBI.

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