WNC bats go silent in DH sweep
March 2, 2013
Eight hits in two games.
It’s not the type of production WNC baseball coach D.J. Whittemore was hoping for Saturday against Salt Lake City, and it usually means bad news.
The Wildcats fell to 2-6 in Scenic West Athletic Conference play after losing 4-0 and 6-3 Saturday afternoon at John L. Harvey Field.
The 2-6 start in conference play is the worst in school history. It certainly isn’t panic time yet, but the Wildcats certainly need to hit better and pitch better if they are going to make a serious run at a regular-season title.
“We might have had too many one-pitch outs,” Whittemore said. “When you are playing a good team in the Scenic West and playing wood bat baseball, it comes down to a pitch or play here and there. We didn’t make enough pitches and we didn’t get enough hits.
“I think Salt Lake’s pitching (starters Brady Corless and Rhett Nelson) deserves credit. They obviously did a good job of game planning last night and executed it today, so I give them credit.”
Corless worked the opener, allowing just three hits over seven innings. He struck out two and walked two, and allowed just one runner as far as third base in the seven-inning contest. Nelson worked six innings in the nightcap, allowing three runs and four hits. Reliever Bronson Anderson allowed one hit in his only inning of work.
“We jumped on them in the first inning, so there was a little comfort there,” Corless said. “I was hitting my spots and keeping it low, and they played good defense behind me.”
Salt Lake scored twice off Luke Eubank in the first when Steven Adam beat out a bunt single and advanced on a Palmer Page walk. Bo Fisher, who went 3-for-4 in the opening game, doubled home both runners.
The Bruins added single runs in the second and third thanks to a passed ball on catcher Cole Ferguson and a solo homer by Fisher. Eubank was lifted in favor of Evan Parker after allowing two more hits in the third.
“I hope this is a watershed moment in his (Eubank’s career),” Whittemore said. “He’s going to learn from today and be better. He had one really bad pitch. He hung an 0-2 curveball (on the double to Fisher). He is going to log some big innings for us this year.”
The four-run cushion was more than enough for Corless, who retired 11 of 14 batters in one stretch.
“We knew that we were going to be having to try and get guys on base and just go one guy at a time, 90 feet at a time just to score runs,” said outfielder Matt Becker, who reached base in each of his three at-bats. “That’s what our goal was, and it just wasn’t happening for us today.”
The lone bright spot was the relief work of Parker, who fanned two and yielded four hits over the final 3.1 innings.
The nightcap followed the same pattern with Salt Lake grabbing a 3-0 lead, and then putting the game away with three big runs in the fifth.
While Eubank and Parker showed solid pitch location in the opener, ex-McQueen star Christian Stolo was unable to follow suit in the second game.
Over four innings, Stolo allowed three runs and four hits, and more importantly walked four batters, two of which scored.
In the second, Stolo issued a no-out walk to Bryan Heward, who scored on a long double to right-centerfield by Sam Goold. Kade Teter followed with a run-scoring single to make it 2-0. Stolo escaped further damage by retiring the next three hitters.
Stolo walked the lead-off hitter again in the third, and J.C. Snyder came around to score on a two-out error by Mike Umscheid, who threw low to first on Heward’s groundball.
“That’s something as a freshman he can learn from is that you always want the other team to beat you swinging the bat,” Whittemore said.
WNC cut the deficit to 3-1 when No. 9 hitter Tyler Baker, who went 2-for-3 with two doubles, doubled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Becker.
Spencer Greer came on in the fifth, and promptly walked the first two batters he faced. After getting a strikeout, he gave up a two-run triple to Heward to make it 5-1. Heward scored on Goold’s sacrifice fly.
WNC showed some life in the fifth against Nelson, scoring twice on just one hit. Donald Glover Jr. doubled to deep right to score Ferguson, who had reached on a walk, and Spencer Dorsey’s infield out scored Joey Crunkilton who was plunked by a pitch.
WNC got a runner to third with two outs n the seventh, but couldn’t drive him in.
NOTES: WNC wlll be home the next three weekends – Colorado Northwestern, Mt. Hood and College of Southern Nevada …Salt Lake is 6-2 in SWAC play… SLCC’s Jordan Leinweber had two web gems in the doubleheader, while Crunkilton had a diving catch n the second game.