By Charles Whisnand
Appeal Sports Editor
HENDERSON - On a cold, blustery day with the wind blowing in, everybody knew that runs would come at a premium.
That's why it was a particularly frustrating day for the Western Nevada Community College baseball team. Despite having runners on base in all nine innings, the Wildcats left 10 runners on in a 2-1 loss to Arizona's Cochise Community College on Saturday at Basic High.
On the other hand, it was a particularly satisfying day for Cochise, who was coming off another 2-1 win over Community College of Southern Nevada earlier in the day.
The lack of timely hitting - something that's been a trademark of the Wildcats - wasted an outstanding effort by starter Stephen Sauer and reliever Jake Bottari. Particularly impressive was Bottari, who struck out six over four scoreless innings.
"It just was not an offensive day," acting head coach Kevin Edwards said. Edwards filled in for D.J. Whittemore, who served a mandatory one-game suspension after being ejected from Friday's 4-2 win over Yavapai for standing outside the dugout.
Whittemore will be back in the dugout today when WNCC plays Yavapai at 2 p.m. at CCSN's Morse Field.
"There's going to be a lot of days like that for us in Carson City," said Edwards, commenting on the weather. "That makes every opportunity that much more valuable. We gave ourselves opportunities. But no excuses."
The most frustrating chance came in the eight inning. Down 2-1, Logan Parsley singled, pinch hitter Josh Creveling was hit by a pitch and Thomas Miller singled to load the bases with one out, but WNCC failed to score.
Sauer got off to a rocky start as he hit the first batter and then walked the next hitter to start. But thanks to Taylor Mieras picking off a runner at second, Sauer gave up just one run in the inning.
The pickoff play was costly as Kevin Schlange was spiked by the runner sliding back in. He sustained cuts on three of his fingers on his throwing hand and had to come out.
Schlange's hand is bandaged and the bandage will not be removed for a couple of days, so he won't be able to play today. But Schlange should be ready next weekend when WNCC travels to Southern California.
With Schlange's loss, Parsley moved from third to second, Kyle Bondurant moved from second to short, Chad Walling moved from center field to third and Brad Carlsen came in to play center.
Cochise used a rundown play with runners at first and third with two outs to take a 2-0 lead in the third. The runner from third scored before Parsley could tag out the runner going to second.
Sauer was helped out by an outstanding defensive play in the fourth when Parsley made a leaping snag of a line drive and threw to first to turn a double play.
Bottari received an outstanding defensive play in the fifth when Bondurant looked like a player who was used to playing on the Basic infield, where he played in high school. Bondurant fielded a bad-hop deep in the hole and made the long throw to first to record the out.
WNCC closed to within 2-1 in the sixth when Parsley doubled, advanced to third on a balk and scored on Miller's grounder.
"Our goal is two or less," said Edwards about how many runs WNCC wants to hold opponents to. "If we can old opponents to two or less, then we're going to be in every game. That's our standard.
"Different people had different opportunities. We tried to pick each other up and we just came up short. You're not going to go undefeated in baseball. They'll be ready to play tomorrow."
Parsley had two hits and was also hit by the pitch two more times, running his total of being hit by a pitch to five in the first three games. Walling, Andrew Reid and Anthony Garcia all added a hit for WNCC.