TWIN FALLS, Idaho — Western Nevada split its Scenic West Athletic Conference doubleheader against College of Southern Idaho Friday afternoon, winning the first game 3-1 and dropping the nightcap 3-2 in 11 innings.
WNC fell to 9-9 in SWAC play. The teams conclude the four game series today with a doubleheader starting at noon.
WNC coach D.J. Whittemore admitted this was uncharted territory for his program being .500 in league play this late in the season.
“We’ve been pretty fortunate to coach some real good teams,” Whittemore said. “We haven’t had to endure being 9-9 in league. We’ll try to come out tomorrow and play hard, play smart and see where it gets it.”
In the opener, Cody Hamlin threw another gem. The WNC right-hander pitched a complete-game 3-hitter and struck out two. Hamlin allowed a run in the first and then put up six straight zeroes.
“Cody is old reliable,” Whittemore said. “He had another outstanding outing.”
CSI took a 1-0 lead in the first when Jordan Godman doubled, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a sacrifice fly by Carter Yagi.
The score stayed that way until the fifth when the Wildcats broke through for two runs and a 2-1 lead.
Connor Klein walked, moved to second on a balk, to third on a single by Alex Fife and scored on a single by A.J. Hernandez. Fife tried to score on the play but was thrown out. Hernandez moved to second on the throw and scored on an error.
The Wildcats scored in the top of the seventh when Klein was hit by a pitch by reliever Kolton Brost and replaced by Dylan Baker on the basepaths. Baker stole second, advanced to third on a flyball by Fife and scored on a single by Hernandez. Isaac Anderson came on to quell the rally.
“AJ has been up and down this year,” Whittemore said. “He’s been battling through it. It’s good to see him come through.”
Hamlin allowed only two runners into scoring position after the first inning.
In the second game, WNC got another nice performance by Phil Belding, who allowed two runs and two hits over six innings. It went for naught, however, when Evan Parker walked in the game-winning run in the bottom of the 11th.
The Wildcats took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second when Klein singled, moved to second on a single by Hernandez and scored on a single by Colby Rice. Tony Roque singled to load the base, but Christian Stolo rolled out to end the inning.
WNC loaded the bases in the fifth, but Conor Harber, Mike Umscheid and Cole Ferguson all struck out to end the inning.
Belding, who allowed just one hit through six innings, was lifted after giving up a walk, double and two runs. Luke Eubank avoided further damage.
The Wildcats tied the game in the ninth when Harber hit a two-out single to tie the game at 2. With runners at first and third, Brost came on to retire the next batter.
The game stayed tied until the 11th. Parker, who wiggled out of a jam in the 10th created by two Brock Pellow walks, gave up a double, single and hit a batter to load the bases. Parker walked Godman to force home a run and end the game.