Series Continues Saturday With Doubleheader
The Western Nevada College Wildcats baseball team opened Scenic West Athletic Conference play Friday afternoon with two solid victories over Colorado Northwestern Community College. WNC won the opener 3-1 before rolling to a 12-1 victory in the nightcap.
Wildcats pitcher Tim Peterson went the distance in the seven-inning opener, striking out 13 Spartan batters and walking only two. In game two, WNC freshman pitcher Brandon Jackson struck out four while allowing only two hits, including a solo home run by CNCC, on his way to the win.
In game one, WNC jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Left-fielder Connor Eppard hit a two-run homer over right center field on his second pitch, scoring right-fielder Chris Wooley. The Wildcats made it 3-0 in the third inning on an RBI double by designated hitter Beau Day, scoring Eppard. Colorado Northwestern's only score came in the fifth inning.
Afterward, Peterson said the team's tough non-conference schedule helped them prepare for conference play. "We grew quite a bit as a team. You learn more when you lose." For him, the non-conference season allowed time to work on his delivery. "The more I'm on the mound, the better I get," he said, adding, "It's really important to start league play with a win."
In game two, Jackson struck out the first two Spartan batters as a sign of things to come, and WNC jumped to a 6-0 lead in its first at-bats. First baseman Sean Potkay hit a two-run double to centerfield to put the Wildcats up 2-0. Second baseman Zack Hendrix followed with an RBI double, and catcher Sean Dwyer added an RBI.
CNCC scored in the second inning with a home run by Tyler Thurston to make it a 6-1 contest. But the Wildcats quickly added two more runs in the bottom of the inning off four hits by Potkay, Hendrix, Dwyer, and Neil Lawhorn.
The Wildcats used the third inning to put the Spartans away, scoring four runs on five hits, including an RBI double by Dwyer, and RBI singles by Kevin Taylor and Brooks Klein. The game ended after five innings on the 10-run rule.
Jackson said afterward that he began the game with "a lot of adrenalin, but my team helped calm me down." He called his first home outing a thrill. "I just like it here - the field, the fans," and the team, which Jackson said, "bonds well and works hard."
Wildcats Coach DJ Whittemore said his goal for the home opener was to be consistent on the mound, and that goal was achieved. "Tim led the team by example," he said of his sophomore pitcher. "After seven losses by two or less" in the non-conference schedule, for a 6-7 non-conference record, "We're just trying to be consistent and play every pitch." And, he said, "We're just happy to play at home."
The series continues Saturday with a doubleheader beginning at noon.
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