Series continues at noon Saturday
Zach Hendrix said he wanted to be a spark plug for his team today, and the Western Nevada College designated hitter did not disappoint.
After the Wildcats baseball team lost Friday’s opener against College of Southern Nevada, 4-2, Hendrix crushed a Grand Slam home run in the nightcap that made the difference for his team. The hit tied the game at 5-5, and the Wildcats went on to win 7-6 and split the doubleheader.
“I’ve been seeing the ball real well,” Hendrix said. “I was just trying to get a spark going.”
The Wildcats needed the assistance after they dropped the opener to CSN. In that contest, WNC starting pitcher Dylan Baker went six innings, striking out 13 Coyote batters and giving up two runs on five hits. With a 10-0 record on the season, he had the attention of more than a dozen professional baseball scouts on hand for the game.
CSN starting pitcher Joey Lauria got the win, and WNC’s Anthony Consiglio was tagged with the loss.
The pitching duel between Baker and Lauria kept the opening game scoreless until the third inning, when WNC’s Mike Umscheid scored on a pass ball after a Chris Whooley hit.
Southern Nevada evened the score at 1-1 in the fifth inning, and then added a solo home run by Morgan Stotts to take a 2-1 lead. WNC answered in the bottom of the inning, when Dillon Ness scored on an RBI single to right field by Bobby Pappin.
The 2-2 knot after seven innings forced a nine-inning game, and both teams held in the eighth inning. But Southern Nevada’s Jordan Van Hoosier hit a two-run homer in the top of the ninth to move the Coyotes ahead 4-2.
The Wildcats looked as if they would orchestrate a comeback in the bottom of the ninth inning. WNC loaded the bases on hits by AJ Hernandez and Umscheid, but shortstop Chris Wooley struck out swinging to end the game.
In the nightcap, WNC starting pitcher Andrew Woeck fanned two in the opening inning, but the Coyotes jumped out to a 2-0 lead. They added three more in the second inning, and the Wildcats went to their bullpen for Rayne Raven, who struck out two and held CSN scoreless for two innings.
The Wildcats made a surge in the bottom of the third inning, scoring five runs off a single by Pappin, Taylor Smart’s RBI single, and Hendrix’ Grand Slam, for a 5-5 tie. CSN fought back in the fourth inning with a single by Chad Whiteaker and a double by Stotts. However, WNC catcher Neil Lawhorn tagged Whiteaker out at the plate, and Umscheid caught a centerfield fly to end the inning without a score.
The Wildcats defense held in the fifth inning, and WNC moved ahead 6-5 in the bottom of the frame, scoring Derrick Pitts off a Bobby Gazzola RBI single. WNC extended its lead to 7-5 in the sixth inning, when Taylor Smart’s grounder to left field scored AJ Hernandez.
CSN pinch hitter A.J. Ford hit an RBI single in the top of the seventh inning that scored Whiteaker and pulled the Coyotes back within one, before WNC held for the win.
“We beat a really good team,” WNC Coach DJ Whittemore said afterward. “We just have to play ever pitch and keep trying to win.”
The series continues Saturday with a noon doubleheader at John L. Harvey Field in Carson City.
|Photos (Click to Enlarge)|
|AJ HERNANDEZ||AJ HERNANDEZ||ALEX SCHMIDT|
|ALEX SCHMIDT||BOBBY PAPPIN||BOBBY PAPPIN|
|CHRIS WOOLEY MAKES PLAY AT SECOND||COYOTE SLIDING INTO THIRD||DERRICK PITTS|
|DILLON NESS||CARSON CITY MAYOR ROBERT CROWELL||MIKE UMSCHEID|
|MIKE UMSCHEID||NEIL LAWHORN||NEIL LAWHORN|
|ANDREW WOECK||ANTHONY CONSIGLIO||DYLAN BAKER|
|RAYNE RAVEN AT FIRST||RAYNE RAVEN||TAYLOR SMART RUNS DOWN RUNNER|
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