Western Nevada Community College's baseball team (24-12, 18-6 in conference) dropped two contests to Southern Idaho in Twin Falls last Friday, and then took two back on Saturday to earn a weekend split and remain in second place in the Scenic West conference. The Wildcats are in a second place tie with Southern Idaho and only a half game away from first-place Dixie State College of Utah, who visits Carson City this weekend.
"Southern Idaho was one of the best teams we've played all year," Coach D.J. Whittemore said. "It was great to get a split on the road against a tough team. It made for a happy bus trip home."
In the first game on Friday, outfielder Pat Grennan knocked in a run in the first inning, but Southern Idaho scored the next seven runs to win 7-1. Starting pitcher Justin Garcia gave up six runs on eight hits and struck out one in 4.2 innings. Relievers Jake Bottari and Chad Walling held Idaho to one unearned run in 2.1 innings.
After a three-hour rain delay, Southern Idaho took the second game Friday 3-1. Starting pitcher Cole Rohrbough allowed only one run in 4.2 innings, and reliever Dan Grubbs gave up two runs in the sixth. WNCC had trouble scoring, and Aaron Greer hit into a double play in the seventh inning to drive in the Wildcats' only run.
Greer was playing for the first time this season after being sidelined with a rare medical condition that causes blood clots. He served as the team's scorekeeper until his doctor cleared him to play last week.
The Wildcats came back strong on Saturday, taking the first game 1-0. Winning pitcher Josh Brink and Grubbs combined on the shutout, allowing only three hits. Brink struck out two in 5.2 innings, while Grubbs struck out two and earned the save. Kyle Bondurant doubled in the third inning to knock in Thomas Miller for the only run WNCC needed. With the win, the Wildcats now have beaten every team in the Scenic West Athletic Conference.
Western won another close one in the last game Saturday, 3-2. They were down 2-0 in the seventh when Miller came through with a clutch three-run double to take the lead. Starter T.J. Wohlever was pulled early in the first after walking two batters. Relievers Ryan Iodence, Mason Tobin, and Stephen Sauer combined to shut the door on Idaho as they allowed only one run in 6.1 innings.
WNCC will return home this weekend for two doubleheaders against Dixie State starting at noon Friday and 11 a.m. on Saturday. The game site will be announced later this week, as the Wildcats continue to put the finishing touches on their new on-campus baseball field.
Admission prices are $6 for adults, $3 for seniors age 60+, $3 for youth 17 years and younger, free for WNCC students, staff and faculty with a current identification card, and free for children under age 4 accompanied by an adult. Tickets are good for both games of each doubleheader.
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