The Western Nevada Community College baseball team is back in the race for second in the Scenic West Conference.
After being swept on Friday at Southern Idaho, WNCC came back to sweep a doubleheader on Saturday to gain a split in the four-game series. The Wildcats won the opener 1-0 and on the strength of Thomas Miller's three-run double in the seventh inning, came back for a dramatic 3-2 win in the nightcap.
WNCC (21-15), Dixie State and Southern Idaho came into the weekend tied for second in the conference. Dixie State played Salt Lake over the weekend. WNCC is now 15-9 in conference while Southern Idaho is 14-10.
The Wildcats will host Dixie State in a showdown for second in a four-game series this Friday and Saturday. John L. Harvey Field still isn't ready, so the series will be played at a site still to be determined. A second place finish in the Scenic West would be key because it would mean a first round bye in the conference tournament.
Josh Brink was the winning pitcher in the opener, allowing two hits in 5.2 innings. Dan Grubbs rebounded from a tough outing the night before in which he allowed two runs in a 3-1 loss to pick up the save. Grubbs struck out two and allowed one hit over the last 1.1 innings.
WNCC scored in the third. Miller singled and moved to second on Taylor Meiras' sacrifice bunt. Kyle Bondurant followed with an RBI double.
Carson High's Aaron Henry, who was 2-for-3 in Friday's 3-1 loss, had a hit and Tyson Jaquez and Jerahmie Libke each added a hit.
T.J. Wohlever started the nightcap, but after walking two batters that led to a run, he was pulled for Ryan Iodence, who didn't allow a run and struck out three over three innings.
Mason Tobin, who has been nursing a shoulder injury, didn't allow a run over the next two innings. WNCC assistant coach Andrew Patterson said Tobin is expected to return as a starter this weekend against Dixie State.
Patterson also said Tobin reached 92 miles an hour with his fastball. "He's back with a lot of velocity," Patterson said.
Stephen Sauer allowed one run over the last two innings to pick up the win. Pat Grennan began the seventh inning rally with a single. Grennan had his 13-game hitting streak snapped in Saturday's opener. "Thirteen games with wood bats is pretty impressive," Patterson said.
After Grennan's single, Chadd Dudley and Brad Carlsen walked to load the bases. Patterson said that Miller was looking for a slider and sent a hanging slider to the left field wall.
Carlsen was able to score all the way from first to give WNCC a 3-2 lead. "It's just heart," Patterson said.
And again, WNCC's pitching staff carried the load. "We're just real deep on the mound," Patterson said. "Those guys keep us in every ball game."
Miller doubled twice and Tyson Jaquez added a hit. Aaron Greer also saw action for the second straight day after returning from a rare condition that caused him to have blood clots. Greer saw action as a designated hitter and pinch hitter over the weekend and Patterson said he's been working out at catcher and in the outfield at practice as well.