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Arguelles Pitches Columbus Past Braddock

Andy Arguelles picked a fine time for a gem of a performance. The Columbus senior lefty was one out away from a no-hitter as he struck out 11 and walked just one while leading the Explorers past Braddock 1-0 in a 9A-15 semifinal Tuesday.

The second-seeded Explorers (17-8) advance to face top-seeded Southwest (12-13) in the championship Thursday.

“Andy was spectacular,” Columbus Manager Joe Weber said. “He pounded the zone all day and got ahead of the hitters.”

Arguelles nearly completed a no-hitter, but Braddock’s Jean Martinez singled with two outs in the top of the seventh. This was the second one-hitter Arguelles (10-1) has thrown this season. He also has tossed two no-hitters.

The Bulldogs’ Nelson Alvarez also had a one-hitter as the Explorers managed just a hit by Michael Fernandez to open the second inning. Fernandez stole home for the game’s only run later in the inning. Alvarez finished with seven strikeouts and five walks.

Of course, no shutout is complete without strong defense.

“Everyone in the infield made plays, and first baseman Danny Bello had three unassisted putouts as well as a great pickoff at first base,” Weber said.

The Braddock defense also was solid as it kept the Explorers at bay when they had a couple of men on base a few times throughout the game.

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