No-hitter through six helps Yavapai CC stay alive at JUCO

“There’s no place like  home, there’s no place like home,” Dorothy Gale says in the “Wizard of Oz,” dreaming of Kansas. That’s precisely where the Cowley College Tigers (44-18, 0-2 JUCO) were sent by the Yavapai Community College (AZ) Roughriders (46-20, 2-1 JUCO).

In the movie Dorothy is thrown around by a tornado and air-lifted to the far off land of Oz. Yavapai threw Cowley from the far away land of Grand Junction, Colo., back to Arkansas City, Kan. Yavapai won the game by a score of 6-2 bouncing Cowley out of the JUCO World Series.

The story, however, for Yavapai was starting pitcher Avery Weems, who tossed a gem into the top of the seventh. Weems went seven full innings of work, throwing a no-hitter through six innings. Riley Knudsen broke up the no-hit bid with one on in the seventh. Weems then gave up up two hits to yield Cowley’s two runs on the day. Weems surrendered four walks and struck out six on 114 pitches in the dominating performance.

Weems had his off-speed pitches working all day. “I definitely felt good on the mound, but I owe it to my catcher and fielders making plays behind me as well. I wouldn’t have had the no-hitter if it weren’t for double plays and caught fly-balls behind me,” Weems said.

In relief Nicko Ortega threw two full innings, giving up one hit and striking out three.

Pacing the Roughriders on offense was Nate Easley – son of former 17-year Major League Baseball second baseman Damion Easley – going 1-for-4 with two RBIs.

For the Cowley College side, it was nothing short of a good performance from their starter Scott Engler. Engler went seven full innings on the mound for the Tigers giving up ten hits with six runs and striking out ten Yavapai hitters.

The Roughriders dispatch the Tigers back to the far land of Kansas with a 44-18 overall record on the season.

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