The Western Nevada Community College baseball team fell out of second place in the Scenic West Conference after dropping a doubleheader on Saturday at Southern Idaho.
Southern Idaho won the opener 7-1 and after a three-hour rain delay won the nightcap 3-1. WNCC (19-15) fell to 13-9 in conference while Southern Idaho improved to 14-6 in the league play. Gong into the weekend, WNCC was in a three-way tie with Southern Idaho and Dixie State, which was 13-7 in conference heading into its series at Salt Lake.
The Wildcats did receive a lift with the return of Aaron Greer, who was cleared to play this week. Greer was out due to a rare condition that caused blood clots.
Greer showed his rust as he was 0-for-3 as a designated hitter in the first game and also hit into a double play in the nightcap. "That's going to be exciting to get his bat in the lineup," WNCC coach D.J. Whittemore said.
Justin Garcia was touched for six runs over 4.2 innings in the opener. "He definitely didn't have his best stuff," Whittemore said.
WNCC jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Kyle Bondurant singled, moved to second on Brad Carlsen's sacrifice bunt and scored on Pat Grennan's double.
The Wildcats loaded the bases with two outs in the second, but after a long battle, Carlsen struck out to end the inning. "The momentum of the game kind of switched," Whittemore said.
Southern Idaho scored three runs in the bottom of the second. "It was one of those innings," Whittemore said.
A bunt single, single and seeing eyes single loaded the bases with no outs. A run scored on a double play to make it 1-1. After a hit batsmen, Southern Idaho scored two runs on a blood double down the line in shallow left field. "We're a play away from being in a 1-1 ballgame," Whittemore said.
WNCC then couldn't come up with a timely hit. "We squandered a couple of opportunities to make it 3-2," Whittemore said.
Southern Idaho scored three more runs in the fifth. Jake Bottari and Douglas High utility player Chad Walling came in to hold Southern Idaho to one unearned run the rest of the way. "He came in and did a great job," said Whittemore about Walling.
Cole Rohrbough allowed one run through 4.2 in the nightcap. Dan Grubbs was touched for two runs in the sixth as Southern Idaho took a 3-0 lead.
In the seventh, Thomas Miller and Humberto Rodarte walked and Chadd Dudley singled as WNCC loaded the bases with no outs, but Greer hit into a double play as the Wildcats had to settle for one run.
"They're a great ballclub," Whittemore said. "That's not too strong of a word. They're well-coached."
The series concludes today with another doubleheader. "The better team won today but we're going to give them hell tomorrow," Whittemore said.