PHOENIX — After a 5-1 run in the Phoenix Area Juco Classic, the Cochise College Apaches are ready to make a run at a conference title in the second half of the ACCAC season.
On Saturday, Cochise closed out the tournament by routing Pro Training, an academy team made up of college and high school players from Western Canada 11-0. That team filled the spot in the tournament vacated when El Paso Community College pulled out.
Ironically, the Apaches’ lone loss was, in the opinion of their coach, the teams’ best showing in the tournament.
Jacob Potts pitched all nine innings against the Thunderbirds, striking out 12 and allowing just four hits on his way to being the hard-luck loser.
“Potts threw the hell out of it, but their guy is going to be a top-three-round pick. He was throwing 94-95 mph,” Cochise head coach Todd Inglehart said. “I thought (Potts) outpitched him for the most part. It was just a wild pitch here, a passed ball there that led to their two runs.”
Salas followed up his strong pitching performance in Friday’s early game to deliver two doubles in the second game and Nate Hale added two singles.
Hale also had two hits against Northeastern, a game in which Austin Nelson added two hits and an RBI and Tyler Bess had a double and two RBIs.
Alan Valenzuela, a freshman from Tucson, pitched five innings for the win against the Canadian team, and his services, along with those of Douglas High School grad Roy Aguirre, may be in higher demand as the conference season resumes on Tuesday with a doubleheader against Arizona Western College starting at noon on the Douglas campus.
Inglehart said that pitcher Xavier Altamirano and Kenton Schroter, initially believed to be mere arm tenderness, may be out longer than expected.
Cochise heads into the second half of the season two games behind South Mountain Community College for the lead in the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference standings.
“I thought we used these games and just got better and better; we saw some guys make some progress,” Inglehart said. “But right now, we’re a little thin in the pitching department.”