TUCSON — Grays Harbor College began its five-game trip to Arizona in 90 degree heat and against a team that was 28 games into its season.
Taking on host Pima Community College, the Chokers stayed close with the Aztecs before falling, 4-1, on the first day of the Jack Howell Classic on Wednesday.
On Friday, GHC (1-7) will take on Arizona Western College and Douglass C.C. in single games in the pre-determined tournament.
Pima was playing its 29th game of the season and was in mid-season form, according to GHC head coach Curtis Eccles. GHC has played seven games before the trip.
“That’s the difference,” Eccles said. “We did have, on two occassions, had runners on first and second base with no one out. We just couldn’t get them across. We had some threats, no doubt. It came down to getting the clutch hits. In time, we’ll get there.”
Cameron Duckett and Skyler Wheeler each had two hits for the Chokers, with Duckett scoring the team’s lone run on an error in the first inning. Tyler Hiles took the loss for GHC.
Eccles cited Duckett for his overall game on defense at shortstop and at the plate.
Will Holbrook earned the win for Pima, a complete-game five-hitter.
Pima 011 020 0 — 4 8 1 GHC 100 000 0 — 1 5 2
Holbrook and Gamez; Hiles, Schonhans (4), Rubin (5) and Schlesser, Alexander (5).
RBI: Pima — Gamez, Tacchia. Two hits: Pima — Tacchia. GHC — Duckett, Wheeler. Home run: Pima — Gamez. Doubles: Pima — Arvizu.
Winning pitcher — Holbrook (eight strikeouts). Losing pitcher — Hiles (three walks).