Pima Community College sports

Pima opens West District tournament with loss to College of Southern Nevada

The Pima Community College baseball team opened the NJCAA West District tournament Thursday with a 7-5 loss to the College of Southern Nevada at South Mountain in Phoenix.

The Aztecs (45-17) will play Southeast (Neb.) on Friday at 9 a.m. in an elimination game. Southeast lost to host South Mountain 8-4 on Thursday.

Pima sophomore Brant Kragel hit a lead-off triple in the second inning and tied the game at 1 when he scored on a passed ball.

Sophomore David Shackelford drew a walk and sophomore Antonio Aliva hit a double to put two runners on base. Sophomore Ruben Castro (Tucson) put Pima ahead 2-1 with a sacrifice fly to bring in Shackelford.

The Coyotes went up 3-2 with two runs in the fourth inning. Sophomore Caleb Herd (Cienega) put the Aztecs back up 4-3 when he hit a two-run home run to left field and brought in Castro, who reached on an error in the previous at-bat. The Coyotes countered with three runs in the bottom half of the sixth inning to go back up 6-4.

Pima cut into Southern Nevada’s lead again in the seventh inning when Kragel hit an RBI single to score Hennesy, who hit a double earlier in the inning.

The Aztecs left 12 runners on base for the game. They left the bases loaded in the fourth inning and stranded two runners in each the eighth and ninth innings.

Herd finished 1 for 3 with two RBIs and a run. Kragel went 3 for 4 with an RBI and a run while Hennesy was 2 for 5 with a run. Shackelford went 1 for 3 with a run. Castro was 0 for 2 with an RBI and run. Sophomore Elijah Reeves (Marana) was 2 for 4.

Sophomore Diego Alvarez (Sahuarita) took the loss as he pitched 5 2/3 innings, giving up six runs (five earned) on eight hits with four strikeouts and one walk on 95 pitches.

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