Spenser Dorsey stroked three extra-base hits, including a two-run homer, as Western Nevada College routed Prairie Baseball Academy of Lethbridge, Alberta (Canada) 21-4 in its home baseball opener on Wednesday in Carson City.
â€œWhen the wind blows out, we like to hit,â€ said WNC coach D.J. Whittemore of the seven-inning victory. â€œWe have a big group of guys, and coach Demo (Aaron Demosthenes) does a great job of teaching short swings with power.â€
The 14th-ranked Wildcats (8-4) slammed nine extra-base hits off five Prairie pitchers to continue their streak of having never lost a home opener in the nine-year existence of the program.
â€œWe play so many games on the road that when you get a chance to play at home, itâ€™s special,â€ Whittemore said. â€œWe have always played good here, and we build our teams for this field and for these conditions.â€
The run total was the third most in program history. The Wildcats plated 28 runs against Eastern Utah in 2009 and 27 vs. Eastern Utah in 2010.
Dorsey entered as a pinch-hitter in the third inning and proceeded to double in three runs in his first at-bat.
â€œIâ€™ve been seeing the ball well lately, so I wasnâ€™t worried about swinging and missing,â€ Dorsey said. â€œI was looking for a strike and to get my pitch, then take a hack.â€
Dorsey added a two-bagger in the fifth and cracked a two-run homer in the fifth. He finished 3 for 3 with three runs scored and five RBI.
â€œHe has worked so hard on his swing, and his swing has really changed dramatically,â€ Whittemore said.
WNC catcher Sam Hall provided two doubles among his three hits and collected three RBI. Conor Harber was 2 for 2 with three RBI before being subbed out in the fifth inning. Rayne Raven supplied two doubles for the Wildcats.
The Wildcats rapped only one hit through two innings but scored four times. Prairie starting pitcher Myles Vincent walked four hitters, hit two others and made two wild pitches before recording six outs. WNC capitalized, scoring twice in the first frame and two more in the second.
Harber provided a run-scoring infield single in the first and a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the second. Alex Fife knocked in a first-inning run on a groundout and Hall scored on a wild pitch in the second.
WNC chased Vincent in the third inning, making him pay for his repeated command struggles. The Wildcats loaded the bases with a pair walks and a hit batsman. Christian Stolo became the fourth Wildcat to get plunked, scoring pinch-runner Corey Pool.
Next, Dorsey delivered the Wildcatsâ€™ third hit. His double to the fence in left-center field brought home Connor Klein, Tony Roque and Stolo for an 8-0 WNC lead. Harber collected his third RBI of the afternoon, making it 9-0 with a base hit up the middle.
Pool started the Wildcat fourth with his second homer of the season, raising WNCâ€™s lead to 10-0.
Whittemore elected to give as much of his pitching staff work as possible. Dylan Francis started and worked a scoreless inning, and was followed on the mound by Jeremy Alderman, Connor Zwetsch, Spencer Greer, Thomas Kerr, Rayne Raven and Kyle Pruneau.
The Dawgs attempted to break up the Wildcatsâ€™ scoring onslaught early in the third inning when Tanner Banks greeted Zwetsch with a double to right. But the Wildcats caught an overaggressive Banks straying too far past second base after the double as first baseman Stolo snuck behind the play and put the tag down on him on a relay from Roque. The defensive play came in handy after the next hitter, Dylan McKenna, connected for a single to center.
McKenna, however, broke up the shutout in the fifth, belting a three-run homer after two were out.
The Wildcats shook off the homer by scoring eight times in their half of the fifth. Before the damage was done, the Wildcats sent 11 hitters to the plate, five of whom slammed extra-base hits. Dorseyâ€™s third extra-base hit, a three-run homer to right-center field, capped the inning. Dorsey started the inning with a double and Raven, Hall and Joey Crunkilton also stroked two-baggers during eight-run uprising.
â€œWeâ€™ve made leaps and bounds the past few games and everybody has confidence, and the team has confidence in each other,â€ said Dorsey, whose homer was his second for the season.
WNC will return to the road on Friday, playing Salt Lake in Henderson. Itâ€™s the first of four games in three days against Scenic West Athletic Conference foes. Unlike last year, the games wonâ€™t count in the conference standings.