April 15, 2013

Hernandez, Harber Power Win Streak

Wildcats Take Over Second Place With Sweep

Any chance that Western Nevada College would suffer a letdown against Colorado Northwestern after a road sweep over defending Scenic West Athletic Conference champion Salt Lake was knocked out of the park. Instead, the Wildcats erupted for 46 runs and a weekend sweep.

AJ Hernandez hit two home runs, Conor Harber wore out opposing pitchers, and five Wildcats threw multiple scoreless innings Western extended its win streak to eight games.

The Wildcats took both games of Friday’s doubleheader from the Spartans, 13-3 and 9-3, then completed the four-game sweep with decisive 9-0 and 15-3 victories on Saturday in Rangely, Colo.

“It was another step in the right direction for our club,” said WNC Coach D.J. Whittemore. “Offensively, the guys did a great job of getting their pitch. The directive was don’t settle for a pitch you can hit but wait for a pitch you can hammer.

“We ran the bases extremely hard and exceptionally well.” he said. The pitching staff has been great for us the whole season, and they threw up a lot of goose eggs.”

Hernandez increased his team-leading home-run total to five with a grand slam and three-run homer.

“He’s taking a lot of balanced swings,” Whittemore said. “He provides a presence in the middle of our lineup. You have to throw strikes to get him out.”

Harber, who entered the series with a .378 batting average, hit the Spartans’ fence “about five times,” according to Whittemore. The freshman right fielder had three triples and two doubles in the four games.

“He’s putting together one of the best years that we’ve seen in the Scenic West Conference,” Whittemore said. “He’s having a monster year. He’s what they call a five-tool player … he’s very competitive, he makes adjustments quickly and he’s a tireless worker.”

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