Western Nevada College moved into second place in the Scenic West Athletic Conference baseball standings by winning a four-game series from host College of Southern Nevada on Thursday and Friday in Henderson.
The Wildcats won the first three games of the series before the Coyotes edged WNC 4-3 Friday to deny a sweep. WNC improved to 7-5 in the SWAC, trailing only Salt Lake (11-2). CSN is 4-8 in conference play.
In Fridayâ€™s opening game, sophomore Rayne Raven (4-2) limited the Coyotes to one run over four innings and the Wildcats scored five times in the third inning to earn an 8-3 victory.
Kody Reynolds and Sam Hall triggered the offense with three hits and two hits, respectively.
Kevin Schul scored on a safety squeeze bunt in the second inning to put the Coyotes on top, 1-0. But Raven prevented further damage with a third-out strikeout.
CSN took a 1-0 lead into the third inning, but WNC erupted for five runs on four hits and two Coyote errors. Christian Stolo tied the score on Lucas Hunterâ€™s error at short on a grounder by Conor Harber. Harber advanced to third on a Joey Crunkilton single down the third-base line and scored the go-ahead run on a David Kuzma balk. Then, Hall provided his second hit of the game, a single that scored Crunkilton from second base.
CSN extended the inning with a dropped outfield fly on a ball hit by Corey Pool, allowing Hall to cross the plate with the fourth run of the inning. Reynolds added a run-scoring single to give WNC a 5-1 lead.
Kuzma (3-2) was lifted after three innings after giving up five runs on six hits.
The Wildcats added two runs in the fifth: Alex Fife scored on a passed ball and Austin Andrews came home with two outs on a wild pitch.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Coyotes stopped the Wildcatsâ€™ streak of seven unanswered runs with a two-out base hit by Zach Scott to score Robins, cutting WNCâ€™s lead to 7-2.
The Wildcats got the run back in the sixth when Bennett drove home Roque with a wind-blown double.
Raven (4-2) worked five innings, giving up five hits and one earned run. Jeremy Alderman and Thomas Kerr each tossed an inning in relief.
WNC stranded Stolo on third base in the first inning. The Coyotes also didnâ€™t capitalize on a scoring chance in the first when Gerald Robins singled, Tyler Brown was hit by pitch, Grant Heyman reached on an infield single to load bases with one out. But Ravenâ€™s defense got him out of the jam with a middle infield double play by shortstop Tony Roque and second baseman Austin Andrews.
Hall provided the Wildcatsâ€™ first hit off Kuzma, a one-out single in the second inning. A two-out base hit by Reynolds moved Hall to second base, but Roque hit into a force out to end the Wildcat threat.
Five Coyote pitchers held WNC to four hits in game two. Even so, the Wildcats took a 3-2 lead into the fifth inning.
However, the Coyotes scored once in the fifth to tie the score and pushed across the winning run with one out in the seventh. Lucas Hunter started the winning rally with a single off Spencer Greer. Robinsâ€™ sacrifice bunt moved Hunter to second base. Following an intentional walk to Heyman, Scott delivered his walk-off base hit.
Harber, Crunkilton, Kyle Pruneau and Connor Klein provided the only hits for WNC.
Trailing 2-1, Pruneau began the fourth inning with a single, and pinch-runner Reynolds moved to second base on a groundout. Harberâ€™s base hit sent Reynolds home with the tying run. Crunkiltonâ€™s single enabled Harber to advance to third base, then Harber scored on an infielderâ€™s error on the relay throw from the outfield.
After playing their past two SWAC series on the road, the Wildcats (22-10 overall) will play host to College of Southern Idaho on March 28-29 at John L. Harvey Field.
On Thursday, Stolo fired a complete-game five-hitter to start Western Nevada Collegeâ€™s baseball doubleheader sweep of rival College of Southern Nevada. The Wildcats followed their 3-1 victory with a 10-hit attack and a 6-3 triumph.
The series was originally scheduled for Friday and Saturday but was moved up a day.
Stolo fanned four and didnâ€™t walk a single Coyote to improve to 3-2 for the season. The sophomore right-hander outdueled Blair Goldsack (4-2), who surrendered just four hits to the Wildcats in seven innings.
WNC didnâ€™t produce a single against the Coyotes in the opening game, but that didnâ€™t matter as four doubles, including a two-run two-bagger by Raven, fueled the offense.
Hallâ€™s double drove home Harber in the second inning, putting the Wildcats ahead 1-0. Ravenâ€™s double in the third frame brought Jake Bennett and Fife across the plate for a 3-0 WNC lead.
The Coyotes responded with their only run in the bottom of the third, scoring on a wild pitch by Stolo. But Stolo was in command the rest of the way, blanking the Coyotes over the final four innings.
Bennett and Klein also connected for doubles for WNC.
In the nightcap, the Wildcats used two hits by Bennett and Harberâ€™s third pitching win without a loss to complete the sweep.
WNC snapped a 3-3 tie by capitalizing on errant pitches to score a run in the sixth and seventh innings for a 5-3 edge. Bennett provided some additional cushion with a run-scoring base hit in the ninth.
The Wildcats continued to hurt opponents with two-base hits, pushing their season total to 71.
Roque delivered the Wildcatsâ€™ third extra-base hit of the game with his first triple of the season.