Yavapai tames Wildcats

HENDERSON - Western Nevada Community College baseball coach D.J. Whittemore did his best impersonation of Alfred E. Neumann.

Despite watching his team leave 21 runners on base over the last two days, Whittemore had a demeanor that said "What me, worry?"

The Wildcats again failed to come through with a timely hit when needed - one thing that the program has been built on - in a 3-1 loss to Arizona's Yavapai Community College on Sunday at Community College of Southern Nevada's Morse Stadium.

The battle between two of Arizona's top teams, Yavapai and Cochise Community College, and two of the Scenic West Athletic Conference's top teams, WNCC and CCSN, ended in a 4-4 draw. Cochise picked up its third straight 2-1 win on Sunday, this time over CCSN, to finish 3-1. WNCC and CCSN finished 2-2 and Yavapai, which came in ranked No. 2 in the country, picked up its first win against the Wildcats and finished 1-3.

It won't be any easier for WNCC next weekend with another tough road trip to Southern California.

"We'll get back to work this week and head on to Southern California and get tested again," Whittemore said. "That's what it's all about."

WNCC left 10 runners on in a 2-1 loss to Cochise on Saturday and left 11 runners on against Yavapai. But Whittemore was more pleased with his team's approach on Sunday.

"Definitely was disappointed with the way we played yesterday," said Whittemore about the Cochise game. "I thought we played well today. We did a great job of getting baserunners again. We just didn't get the big hit."

And it figures that WNCC's offense will eventually come around. "We're not worried," Whittemore said. "I thought we did a good job at the plate."

WNCC did receive solid at-bats from Logan Parsley, Andrew Ferguson and Brad Carlsen in the seventh and eighth innings with the game on the line.

In the seventh, Carlsen walked, Chuck Howard singled and both moved up to second and third on Cliff Shepard's sacrifice bunt. Parlsey then launched one to deep right center field, but it turned out to be just a long fly ball to end the inning.

In the eighth, Kyle Bondurant and Andrew Reid walked and Thomas Miller was hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out. Ferguson then lined out to Dan Duffy at second.

Carlsen followed by sending a ball up the middle that appeared to be heading into center field to tie the game. But Duffy made a nice back-handed play and flipped to second for the force to end the inning.

WNCC received another outstanding pitching effort from starter Josh Brink, Wes Osmer and Jeremy Joustra. Brink allowed one earned run over four innings.

Brink was touched for a run in the first after walking two batters. But he received help from Howard, who erased one of the walks by picking off a runner at first. That began an outstanding game for Howard, who ended up throwing out four runners from his catchers position and he also had two hits.

WNCC tied it in the third when Howard singled. Chad Walling came in as a courtesy runner and advanced to third on Shepard's single to right. Shepard stole second and Walling scored when the throw went into center field.

Brink ran into trouble in the fifth when he allowed two singles and made a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt that loaded the bases with no outs.

Osmer entered and hit the first batter he faced to give Yavapai a 2-1 lead. But then Osmer received a huge lift when Howard picked off the runner who strayed too far from third. Osmer went on to strike out the batter and got a popup to end the inning.

Osmer allowed a run on an RBI-single in the sixth, but was helped again by Howard, who threw out the runner at second trying to advance on the play.

Joustra came on to pitch two scoreless innings.

"Joustra did a great job at the end," Whittemore said. "He did what he needed to do. Osmer was huge for us. He really pitched well. I think he built some confidence in himself and his teammates."

Miller and Bondurant each added a hit for WNCC. Parsley was hit by a pitch two more times, so he's already been hit by a pitch seven times in the first four games.

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