On a cool, grey and blustery Saturday afternoon, the Salt Lake Community College Bruins blew the Western Nevada College Wildcats out of an NJCAA Region 18 championship. As the No. 1 seed and tournament host, the Wildcats sent Salt Lake to the losers bracket earlier in the week, but on Saturday, the Bruins clawed their way back to win the title.
Salt Lake won back-to-back contests, 18-9 and 2-0, to capture the Region 18 title and move on to the Western District championship tournament in Arizona next week. The Wildcats end their season as the Scenic West Athletic Conference champions and a 46-15 overall record, but carry the disappointment of might have been.
WNC suffered a disastrous second inning in the opening contest. After the teams held each other scoreless in the opening inning, Salt Lake blasted 10 runs on eight hits in the second inning against two different Wildcats pitchers. The Bruins led 14-0 before pinch hitter Jonathan Sigado sent a grounder to second base for a Wildcats hit.
WNC mounted a comeback in the fourth inning, scoring eight runs on as many hits to trail 15-8. Salt Lake, though, was on a mission for redemption after losing five games over the past two weeks to Western. The Bruins added three runs in the seventh inning, and brushed off Brooks Klein's eighth-inning run on an RBI double, for the win.
The tiebreaker game was a pure defensive struggle between starting pitchers Andrew Woeck for WNC and Adam Gunn for Salt Lake. Woeck pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings with five strikeouts and two walks, while Gunn held WNC scoreless with just two hits over eight innings, and was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament.
Western was able to put runners on base, but could not capitalize on opportunities to score in the eighth and ninth innings.
|Photos (Click to Enlarge)|
|Beau Day||Brandon Jackson|
|Brandon Jackson||Brooks Klein||Brooks Klein|
|Chris Woolley||Chris Woolley||Connor Eppard|
|Jason Wittwer||Jonathan Sigado||Jonathan Sigado|
|Sean Dwyer||Sean Dwyer lets one ride|
|Sean Potkay||Tanner Nielsen||Tanner Nielsen|
|Taylor Smart||Taylor Smart||Tony Guerra|
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