The last time Western Nevada College and Cochise College got together on the baseball diamond, a National Junior College Athletic Association World Series berth was on the line, and the game was played over two days due to thunderstorms.
This time, the teams completed their nonconference matchup on Thursday in Douglas, Ariz., but not before playing several suspenseful extra innings fueled by clutch hitting by both sides.
Cochise, ranked 10th in the NJCAA Top 20 poll, ended the back-and-forth game in the ninth inning on a one-out single by Jake Luna to edge the Wildcats 6-5.
The loss halted the 14th-ranked Wildcatsâ€™ three-game winning streak. Cochise improved to 4-1.
WNC (3-3) scored twice in the seventh inning to require extra play. Alex Fifeâ€™s RBI singled scored Conor Harber to pull the Wildcats within 4-3, then Fife scored on a two-out double by Spenser Dorsey to tie the score.
The Wildcats were poised to beat the Apaches when Joey Crunkilton homered to left field with two outs in the eighth, but Cochise came back with its own two-out hit to retie the score. Louis Boydâ€™s base hit to left field plated Frankie Silva with the tying run.
For the Wildcats, Fife was 2 for 4 with a run scored and a run knocked in and Dorsey went 2 for 3 with two RBI.
Sophomore Spencer Greer started on the mound for the Wildcats, tossing five innings. He allowed three hits and struck out five.
The teams will play the second of a three-game series at 1 p.m. Friday.