PRESCOTT- After winning the national title in 2016, the Yavapai College Roughrider baseball team continues to stay alive in the hunt for a repeat title in 2017 as the team split a Saturday afternoon doubleheader against the #7 ranked Cochise College Apaches at Roughrider Park.
The Roughrider offense scoring first would become a theme throughout the day as Yavapai College put three runs on the board in the second inning of game-one.
However, that advantage didn’t last long as Cochise College responded with a seven-spot in the third inning.
“We didn’t make an adjustment with some of our sequences on how we were attacking hitters and they took advantage,” said Roughrider baseball head coach Ryan Cougill.
The Roughriders would cut the deficit with a run in the fifth and two more in the sixth but Cochise would add a run of insurance in the seventh and hold Yavapai scoreless in bottom half for the 8-6 win.
Jake Kolterman tossed six innings allowing seven earned runs on ten hits and three walks while striking out five in the loss.
The long-ball was the culprit for Yavapai College as Logan Botrell, Taggert Baxter and Alex Cornell each left the yard for the Apaches in the defeat.
Meanwhile, the Roughrider offensive production came from Dallas Tessar and Matt Mendibles, as Tessar went 3 for 4 and Mendibles knocked in a RBI while picking up two hits.
In game-two, the Roughriders jumped out to an early lead again with five runs in the first three innings. However this time, the Roughriders only allowed one run and added six more to the lead in the seventh inning to walk-off with the mercy-rule 11-1 result.
Jaxxon Fagg knocked in two runs on three hits while Mendibles would once again be one the offensive stars, smacking two hits including a three-RBI walk-off double in the seventh.
“We just took game-one and used it as fire to fuel game-two,” Mendibles said. “We saw a lot better pitches, put the ball in play, put some pressure on them, and it worked out in our favor.”
The support was enough for redshirt sophomore Reza Aleaziz who tossed six shoutout innings on four hits while striking out six.
“He was effectively wild from the standpoint of the off-speed stuff was starting in the strike-zone; so that gives aggressive hitters a tough time sometimes,” Cougill said. “He made pitches when he had to and we made plays on defense when we had to.”
As the regular season enters the final week, the Roughrider baseball team (31-21, 17-15 ACCAC) currently finds itself in a tie for the fourth and final playoff spot with Arizona Western College who visits Roughrider Park for a doubleheader on Tuesday. First pitch is noon.