Bighorns split twinbill

Appeal Staff Report

The Nevada Bighorns couldn't finish off the four-game sweep against the San Francisco Seagulls in baseball, settling for a split of a doubleheader Sunday at Western Nevada College's John L. Harvey Field.

The Bighorns won the opener 3-1 to take the first three games of the series and had an excellent chance for the four-game sweep, but fell in the nightcap 4-3 in eight innings. The Bighorns let a 3-2 lead slip away and then with the scored tied 3-3 in the bottom of the seventh inning, couldn't push across the winning run after the bases were loaded with no outs.

University of Nevada pitchers Stephen Bautista and Chris Garcia again gave the Bighorns solid starts in both games on Sunday. Royal Good came through with the game-winning hit, a two-run double, in the opener.

In the nightcap, Good and Aaron Henry walked and Kevin Schlange singled to load the bases with no outs in the bottom of the seventh. But after a strikeout and with the outfield drawn in, Ryan Lane lined out to left field and then a fielder's choice ended the inning.

The Seagulls came back to tie the game 3-3 in the top of the seventh against Bighorns closer Brett Low, who had pitched two scoreless innings on Wednesday to pick up the save in a 4-2 win over the Reno Astros.

After a hit batsman, passed ball and sacrifice bunt, Dan Fernandez hit an RBI single to make it 3-3. The Seagulls took a 4-3 lead in the top of the eighth on Zach Bell's RBI double. Low took the loss, striking out three over two innings.

In the bottom of the eighth, Tony Teixeira walked and Ray Barrett singled, but the rally died there as Irvin Huerta, who escaped the jam in the seventh, picked up the win.

Garcia pitched five scoreless innings, striking out four and allowing just two hits. Ryan Shepard came on in the sixth and allowed two unearned runs.

After Robert Hitchins doubled, Marshall Kennebrew, who's adjusting to a new position at first base this summer, made a diving stop to momentarily save a run-scoring hit. But Kennebrew's flip to first was too low to handle, allowing a run to score. Mike Corbett then hit an RBI single to give the Seagulls a 2-1 lead.

Schlange's home run in the bottom of the sixth tied the score 2-2. Shane Kockenmeister went on to hit an RBI double to give the Bighorns a 3-2 lead.

Henry's RBI single gave the Bighorns a 1-0 lead in the third. Henry, who also had a stolen base, has now hit safely in all 17 games he's played with the Bighorns this summer.

The Bighorns received a bad break in the fourth. After Kockenmeister singled, Nick Nyman doubled to right centerfield and Kockenmeister would have easily scored. But the ball bounced over the fence for a ground rule double. Kockenmeister and Schlange each had two hits.

In the opener, Bautista pitched a complete-game one-hitter, striking out 11 over seven innings while allowing one unearned run. But the Bighorns trailed 1-0 going into the bottom of the sixth and failed to score three times when they had a runner at third with one out.

Lane ignited the rally with a double and Good went on to hit his two-run double. It was redemption for Good, who had struck out twice with runners in scoring position. Good eventually scored on an error to make it 3-1.

Lane went 2-for-3, Henry went 1-for-3 with two stolen bases and Kennebrew went 1-for-3. Bautista also received outstanding defensive support from Schlange at short and Nick Nyman at third.

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