Continue Series With Saturday Doubleheader
Any baseball matchup between Western Nevada College and Salt Lake Community College is bound to include stellar pitching and an unflinching will to win. Friday’s matchup between the two nationally ranked clubs was no different, and not surprisingly, ended in a draw.
Salt Lake pulled out the seven-inning opener with a 3-2 win, and Western Nevada responded by shutting down the Bruins 9-0 on 13 hits in the nightcap. What was billed as a nine-inning contest ended after seven innings on the mercy rule.
In the opener, the Wildcats held through three scoreless innings before giving up all three runs that the Bruins would earn, in the fourth inning. WNC put leadoff batter Steven Adam out at first base, but then the Bruins strung together a single, a double and then a home run by Sam Gould to take the 3-0 lead they never relinquished.
WNC countered in the bottom of the inning with an RBI by Connor Klein that scored Cole Ferguson. In the sixth inning, Tyler Baker came in as a pinch runner after AJ Hernandez hit to centerfield. Baker advanced to second base on a wild pitch, and then scored from second to pull the Wildcats within one run.
After the opening loss, “We wanted to be aggressive” in the second matchup, said WNC Coach DJ Whittemore.
The Wildcats held the Bruins at bay for two innings, and then Mike Umscheid kicked off the scoring with a triple to centerfield. Moments later, rightfielder Conor Harber followed with an RBI to right-centerfield, scoring Umscheid for a 1-0 lead. After allowing only one Salt Lake hit in the bottom of the third, the Wildcats scored five runs on six hits, assisted by three Salt Lake errors, to take a 6-0 lead.
WNC scored one run in the fifth inning when pinch hitter Spenser Dorsey sent a base hit to left field. He advanced on a wild pitch, and then Alex Fife hit a full count shot to right field to score him and extend the lead to 7-0.
The Wildcats ended the day with a two RBI double by Klein, giving the team the satisfaction that has eluded them of late.
Sophomore Phil Belding pitched a complete second game, allowing four hits and striking out five, including three in the opening inning.
“It helped that we scored first." It gave us the right mindset,” said Umschied.
Whittemore agreed. “The pitching set the tone,” he said.
“They were terrific, and the catching was outstanding.”
The series continues Saturday with a doubleheader beginning at 11 a.m. at John L. Harvey Field at Western Nevada College.
|Photos (Click to Enlarge)|
|Cody Hamlin Pitching Against Salt Lake||Conor Harber bunts||Luke Eubank Tags Base 3.1.13|
|Phil Belding on the mound||Race to the Base|
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