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AWC sweeps first home doubleheader
The scoreboard indicated the Arizona Western baseball team thoroughly dominated Pacifica on Thursday.
Coach Drew Keehn said he disagrees.
Despite his team's 10-0 and 9-3 wins against the Gladiators at Desert Sun Stadium in the Caballero Classic, the second-year head coach said the Matadors struggled on offense despite 23 hits in the doubleheader.
“Obviously, offensively we were good enough,” Keehn said. “They made 11 errors which helped us. Without the 11 errors, it's probably a different ballgame. I think we need to execute better on offense, that's for sure.”
In Game 1, the Matadors (4-2) pounded three Gladiator pitchers for 12 hits. Pacifica (0-2) didn't help matters in the field, committing six errors – four in the fifth inning.
Hector Valenzuela went 3-for-4 with a run and two RBIs as part of a six-hit, four-run, three-RBI day. His bases-loaded walk in the seventh ended the first game due to the run rule.
Valenzuela said he thought the offense had a good day.
“Our offense did pretty good, everybody was hitting the ball pretty good,” Valenzuela said. “We got base runners and we scored them. We just did what our coaches teach us. Hit the ball outside.”
His fellow Kofa grad Angel Sanchez added three hits on the day, including two hits, a run and an RBI in the first game. Also in Game 1, Xavier Palmer scored three times and eight of the nine Matadors had a hit.
That provided way more support than starter Richard Dutton needed. He scattered three hits in six innings, struck out three and walked one. Cibola grad Omar Celaya pitched a scoreless seventh for AWC.
Game 2 starter Evan Clements had a tougher time, going 3 1/3 innings, allowing two earned runs and walking five. Jonah Rauguth picked up the win, allowing one in 2 2/3 innings. Brandon Anderson retired all nine batters he faced.
“I don't know that (Dutton) had his best stuff,” Keehn said. “I think Brandon Anderson showed everybody how to pitch. I think he's show 18 of 19 first-pitch strikes. You're going to be pretty successful when you do that.”
But Clements had a big cushion to work with as the Matadors jumped out to an 8-0 lead. Valenzuela and Sanchez had RBI singles in the first inning and Adam Loeder had a two-run triple in the third.
The Gladiators inched back into the game, cutting the deficit to 9-3 in the sixth but didn't get any closer.
“Richard pitched good enough and we played good enough defense we were able to win it,” Keehn said. “The second game, we got off to a good start and coasted after that. I'm not very happy with the offense. Just the approach, just in general. There were some bright spots obviously. Hector, and Angel Sanchez played real well. But we need to be better offensively. We're just selfish offensively.”
The Matadors play another doubleheader at 3 p.m. today in the Caballero Classic against University of Southern Utah-Eastern at Desert Sun Stadium.