12-Hit Attack Backs Shutout Pitching of Stolo
Pitching and defense are the time-honored recipes for winning championships.
Western Nevada College has consistently provided those qualities during the 2013 season, and on Friday added explosive offensive to that winning formula in demolishing College of Southern Nevada 10-0 in a Region 18 baseball tournament winners’ bracket game in Henderson.
The win qualified WNC (40-18) for Saturday’s championship round. First pitch is at noon. WNC’s opponent will need to win two games to deny the Wildcats the title.
Christian Stolo, a freshman pitcher and leadoff hitter from McQueen High School in Reno, tossed a four-hit complete game to move the Wildcats to within one victory of qualifying for the district tournament. The Wildcats were flawless behind him, not committing an error.
"Stolo was dynamite today. He made a lot of good pitches, pounding the bottom of the strike zone," said WNC coach D.J. Whittemore. "Stolo is one of the best competitors we've ever coached here. He was determined and very relaxed."
Sophomore third baseman Mike Umscheid went 4 for 5 and knocked in three runs as the Wildcats scored six times in the sixth inning and four runs in the eighth to bring the 10-run rule into play following the eighth frame.
"We strung some hits together, but really the deciding factor for us was that we played every pitch," Whittemore said. "We didn't get too excited, and we kept grinding."
Stolo and Coyote hurler Will Morris were locked up in a scoreless pitchers’ duel through five innings.
But, in the sixth, the Wildcats unleashed a six-run scoring flurry to take command.
Umscheid’s bases-loaded single scored Joseph Crunkilton and Conor Harber to put the Wildcats on top 2-0. Cole Ferguson followed with a run-scoring single. Tony Roque and Matt Becker added bases-loaded base hits to plate Umscheid and Ferguson, respectively, putting WNC ahead 5-0. Stolo’s force out knocked in AJ Hernandez with the Wildcats’ sixth run of the inning.
The Wildcats put away the Coyotes with a four-run eighth inning. Roque started the rally with a triple and scored on a Becker single. Klein’s two-RBI base hit and Umscheid’s RBI single made the score 10-0.
The Coyotes put two runners on base against Stolo in the eighth, but Wildcat right fielder Crunkilton crashed into the wall while making a game-ending catch of a long fly ball by Cory Welch.
Roque finished 2 for 3 at the plate with a run scored and RBI, while Becker was 2 for 4 with two RBI and a run scored.
WNC will meet CSN, Salt Lake or College of Southern Idaho in Saturday’s championship game. The Wildcats will be seeking their first region title since 2009.
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