Justin Garcia gave the Western Nevada Community College baseball team exactly what it needed.
Garcia pitched a complete game two-hitter, allowing the Wildcats to salvage a split in a doubleheader on Friday at College of Southern Idaho. Behind Garcia, WNCC won the nightcap 2-1 after a lackluster effort in a 6-2 loss in the opener.
WNCC (22-17-1) entered Friday's games in third in the Scenic West Athletic Conference and is now 16-10 in conference. Southern Idaho, which entered Friday in first in the SWAC is now 18-8. Community College of Southern Nevada entered Friday in second at 16-8.
Garcia struck out five, walked one and allowed one unearned run as he carried a shutout into the seventh inning.
"It was huge," WNCC coach D.J. Whittemore said. "We were backed into a corner, a must win situation. He was awesome. It obviously came at the most crucial time."
Garcia had a no-hitter going with one out in the fifth when Southern Idaho got its first hit on a bloop single to right field. Cliff Shepard made a diving attempt to make the catch, but the ball popped out of his glove.
Southern Idaho's other hit came on a slow roller in the sixth when shortstop Kevin Schlange was able to field the ball, but unable to record the out.
WNCC took a 1-0 lead in the fourth. After Schlange and Chad Walling walked, Kyle Bondurant singled to score Schlange.
The Wildcats made it 2-0 in the fifth after Logan Parsley tripled. Pat Grennan then executed the safety squeeze, scoring Parsley. Greenan ended up with a bunt single on the play. Parsley and Grennan each had two hits and Thomas Miller added a hit.
WNCC took a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the fifth behind Cole Rohbough when it unraveled. Southern Idaho tied the score 1-1 on two errors and a balk.
In the sixth, a hit batsman, single and walk loaded the bases before an RBI sacrifice fly gave Southern Idaho a 2-1 lead. Two walks followed to force in a run. A three-run double that bounced off an outfielder's glove gave Southern Idaho a 6-1 lead.
WNCC took a 1-0 lead in the second on Shepard's home run to straightaway center field. But the Wildcats left six runners in the first four innings, including leaving the bases loaded in the fourth.
The Wildcats had a rally going in the seventh after Bondurant walked, Andrew Ferguson was hit by a pitch and Miller walked to load the bases with no outs.
But WNCC could only score once when Andrew Reid walked to force in a run. The game ended when the Wildcats hit into a double play.
Rohrbough was charged with two earned runs in 5.1 innings. "Rohrbough was good enough to win," Whittemore said.
"He deserved a better fate than that. We played terrible. I coached terrible. We gift wrapped it for them."
Miller went 2-for-3 and Bondurant, Parsley and Ferguson all added a hit.
The series concludes today with a doubleheader beginning at 11 a.m. The games can be listened to at www.csi.edu/athletics/baseball. Click on the listen live icon.