TWIN FALLS, Idaho — For the second and third straight games, Western Nevada College starters pitched deep and allowed only two runs, but it wasn’t enough to mark the win column.
Sophomore right-hander Max Karnos three-hit College of Southern Idaho over six innings, but Golden Eagle pitchers Makay Nelson and Tyler Burdett were a little bit better in the opener of a Scenic West Athletic Conference baseball doubleheader on Friday. Nelson and Burdett combined on a three-hitter of their own as CSI won the opener, 2-1.
In game two, WNC freshman Chase Kaplan permitted only three hits in 5 2/3 innings, but a three-run double by Harrison Ramey in the sixth inning carved out a 3-1 CSI victory.
“Southern Idaho was the better team today. They got the big hit when they needed it and made the big pitch when they needed to,” said WNC coach D.J. Whittemore. “It’s not the offense, it’s not the pitching. It’s everything, including the coaching, that’s contributing to these losses.”
The two losses dropped WNC into a second-place SWAC tie with CSI at 10-9. The Wildcats (23-16 overall) have dropped six of their past seven games.
Karnos, who struck out seven and walked three, saw his overall record drop to 3-3.
CSI’s shutout lasted until the sixth inning when the Wildcats capitalized on a pair of base runners to open the inning. Jake Bennett started the rally with a single and Tim Lichty followed with a walk. With Burdett summoned out of the bullpen, cleanup hitter Kody Reynolds’ sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third bases. D.J. Peters’ fielder’s choice scored Bennett, but CSI remained ahead 2-1 when Burdett retired Bradley Lewis on a groundout.
Burdett retired the Wildcats in order in the seventh to secure the one-run victory — the Golden Eagles’ second in as many games.
Bennett supplied two of the Wildcats’ three hits, including a double. Peters collected the only other hit off Nelson (6-2), who worked five innings, striking out five and walking one.
WNC opened the scoring in the third when Lichty hit a two-out homer to right-center field. The blast triggered some more hits as Reynolds and Peters followed with base hits. But Mason Hilty (6-2) fanned Lewis to end the inning.
Kaplan surrendered a leadoff walk in the sixth, but catcher Brandon Lapointe threw out Dugan Shirer attempting to steal second base. But CSI threatened again in the same inning after a hit batsman and an error by Reynolds gave it two base runners with two outs.
The jam prompted Whittemore to go to his bullpen for only the second time in the series as Cody Kerns took over for Kaplan. After Kerns issued a walk to Cooper, Ramey cleared the bases with a double to right-center field.
Kaplan, who beat CSI with a 7 2/3-inning effort on Feb. 27, struck out six and walked two. Both of the runs he gave up were unearned.
“He pitched his heart out, and at some point, the starting pitcher is going to turn the ball over to the bullpen and let them do their job, and today we weren’t able to do it,” Whittemore said.
Peters was 2 for 3 for WNC.
The teams conclude their four-game series with an 11 a.m. matchup today.
CSI sweeps WNC women
TWIN FALLS, Idaho — In the span of one inning, Western Nevada College went from leading fourth-ranked College of Southern Idaho by six runs to trailing by seven.
CSI, shut out through the first two innings by WNC freshman pitcher Kristina George, exploded for 13 runs in the third inning en route to a 15-6 six-inning Scenic West Athletic Conference softball victory Friday in Twin Falls, Idaho.
“When a team of this level gives you an opportunity, opens the door for you, you can’t give them momentum back, and unfortunately we did,” said WNC coach Leah Wentworth. “Some of that will come with more maturity. We have such a young crew.”
The Wildcats didn’t allow Merrill to become comfortable in the circle, scoring on a two-out solo homer by Gabriella Canibeyaz in the first inning.
In the second, the Wildcats plated four more runs. Kelsie Callahan doubled to left-center field started the rally. Briauna Carter and Nicole Lesniak followed with base hits — the latter one sending Callahan home for a 2-0 WNC lead. Katilyn Covione and George then walked to force in the second run of the inning. An infield error and Kacie Freudenberger’s fielder’s choice made the score 5-0.
Nicole Lesniak led the Wildcats with two hits and a run scored.
In the second game, , a 4-2 CSI win, sophomore pitcher Nicole Lesniak kept the CSI bats mostly quiet through three innings. However, one of the Golden Eagles’ first two hits was a solo homer off the bat of Abby Toller.
The home-run ball hurt the Wildcats again in the fourth. Savanna Kirkpatrick’s three-run blast put CSI in front 4-0.
Nicole Lesniak started the Wildcat seventh with a double to left field. Robinson’s groundout to the pitcher allowed pinch-runner Samantha Bell to score the game’s final run.
CSI improved to 31-10 overall and 17-4 in the SWAC. WNC dropped to 14-17 and 9-12. The teams conclude their series with a doubleheader starting at 11 a.m. Saturday.