EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated from an earlier version.
Vines, Stroman dominant on mound for Yavapai
TUCSON – Thanks to stellar pitching performances from Darius Vines and Jonathan Stroman, the Yavapai College baseball team earned a doubleheader sweep over Pima to get back to .500 in league play Saturday afternoon.
It is only the second road sweep this season for the Roughriders (11-12, 5-5 ACCAC), which have won five of their last six games as they try to recover from a 3-7 start.
Vines allowed only two runs on seven hits and struck out nine in a complete-game 4-2 win over Pima in game one of Saturday’s doubleheader in Tucson.
“He threw pitches for strikes when he wanted. His velocity was really good,” Yavapai skipper Ryan Cougill said about his right-handed sophomore. “It was his best outing all year.”
Cougill added that Pima battled them the entire game, and Vines shut them down.
“He was on. Whenever we got in tight spots, he kicked it into another gear,” Cougill said.
He threw 99 pitches, 68 of which were for a strike, and walked only one.
Tommy Sacco was 2 for 3 with two RBIs and a run scored, including a one-out single to score Trevor Edior during a three-run fifth inning rally for the Roughriders.
In the same inning, Carlos Viera tripled to score Sacco before crossing the plate on a passed ball to make it 3-0.
Pima (14-13-1, 6-11-1 ACCAC) rallied to score two runs in the sixth, but Sacco singled in Gianni Tomasi for an RBI in the top of the seventh to seal the deal.
Sacco, Viera, Over Torres and Matt Mendibles each had two hits and the Roughriders survived a late-inning rally by Pima to hold on for a 7-5 win in game two of Saturday’s doubleheader.
Yavapai scored three in the third, one in the fourth and three more in the sixth to take a 7-0 lead before surrendering five runs by the Aztecs late.
Stroman toed the mound for the Roughriders, allowing no runs on two hits and struck out nine in six innings of work. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound right hander from Albuquerque, New Mexico, threw 90 pitches, 59 of which went for a strike.
“He came after people with fastballs. He threw 90 pitches, 70 were probably fastballs,” Cougill said. “He really located well. He elevated when he needed to. … Defense played well behind him.”
Tommy Costello came in to relieve Stroman, but struggled, allowing three runs on a hit and two walks before he was pulled without getting an out. Dominic Hamel restored order, allowing two runs on three hits and two walks in three innings pitched.
Up 4-0 in the top of the sixth and two outs on the board, Mendibles doubled to center field and Sacco hit a two-run homer over the right field fence to make it 6-0. Viera followed with another double, and Torres singled him in to earn his second RBI of the day.
Sacco was 2 for 2 with two RBIs and two runs scored, Viera was 2 for 4 with a triple in the fourth inning and two runs scored. Torres was 2 for 5 with two RBIs.
Alex Isola also contributed, going 1 for 3 at the plate with an RBI double in the third inning to make it 3-0 at the time.
Yavapai returns to Prescott for an eight-game home stand beginning Thursday, March 15, with a doubleheader against Lamar Community College. The Roughriders are scheduled to play Lamar twice more Friday, then host doubleheaders against Phoenix College on March 20 and the Langley Blaze (Canada) on March 21.
First pitch Thursday against Lamar is set for noon at Roughrider Park in Prescott.
Brian M. Bergner Jr. is sports editor for The Daily Courier. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @SportsWriter52, or on Facebook at @SportsAboveTheFold. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 928-445-3333, ext. 1106.
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