HENDERSON — In a preseason survey of National Junior College Association baseball programs, the Cochise Apaches were the choice to win their third straight Western District title.
However, the third-ranked Apaches have learned over the past two days ta third straight title won’t come easily. Western Nevada College fought back with its third straight comeback win over the Apaches, sweeping a doubleheader on Saturdayat Morse Field.
Unranked WNC (6-1) rallied from two runs down to win the opener, 4-2, then completed the sweep by coming back from a late three-run deficit to win the second game, 6-5, in 10 innings.
The two teams will collide at noon today to conclude their four-game nonconference series.
It was a battle of southpaws in the opener, and WNC freshman Matt Young was just a little bit better than Cochise sophomore Kade Wagner.
Young fired six scoreless innings to throw a complete game after looking like he might make a first-inning exit. In the first frame, the Apaches (4-3) took a 1-0 lead and had Young on the ropes with the bases loaded and no outs.
WNC coach D.J. Whittemore also credited the game called by sophomore catcher Brandon Lapointe.
Young only allowed three hits and struck out four to pick up his second win of the season.
The Wildcats erupted for three runs off Wagner in the sixth.
Jake Bennett, who had a clutch triple in the Wildcats’ comeback win on Friday night, started the sixth with a hit. Brogan Secrist lined a game-tying single that scored Bennett.
Secrist returned home to Utah after Friday night’s game to have a MRI on his elbow. He was back at the field Saturday morning.
Bradley Lewis eventually delivered a two-run double to give the Wildcatsa a 4-2.
Lewis finished 2-for-3 with two RBI.
In game two, the Wildcats fell behind the Apaches, 2-0 and 5-2, but rallied in the final three innings.
David Modler’s double tied the score at 5. However,
The Wildcats pushed across the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning. Young came around to score when Peters singled to right after an errant throw while Peters was hung up between first and second bases.
Kody Reynolds hit an RBI double in the fourth for WNC.
Thomas Kerr, the Wildcats’ third hurler, picked up the win with four innings of two-hit relief. Kerr struck out three and gave up an unearned run.
Andrews led the Wildcats with a pair of hits and two runs scored.
WNC powers past Golden West
YUMA, Ariz. — A day after sweeping three games at the Great Western Shootout, Western Nevada College concluded its best performance at the Great Western Shootout tournament with another victory on Saturday.
Kelsie Callahan smashed a two-run homer and Makaylee Jaussi hit a solo homer as the Wildcats defeated Golden West College of Huntington Beach, Calif., 7-4. It was a program-best fourth victory of the tournament for WNC.
Earlier on Saturday, Yavapai College of Prescott, Ariz., avoided losing to the Wildcats for a third straight time, extinguishing a final-inning rally for a 6-4 victory.
The Wildcats concluded the tournament with a 1-0 loss to third-ranked Arizona Western College, a team WNC upset on Friday.
Only Salt Lake Community College (6-1) and College of Southern Idaho (5-1) had more wins than WNC in the seven-team tournament.
Freshman Kaitlyn Jimmy of Carson City pitched the distance to earn her first college win. She gave up seven hits and struck out four.
Callahan turned in a defensive gem to end the game. She stretched to snag a liner over her head and then finished off the unassisted double play by stepping on first base. In addition to WNC’s two long balls, Melanie Mecham topped the offense by going 3-for-4. Briauna Carter was 2-for-4 and Hannah Russo went 2-for-3 in her first game for the Wildcats.
WNC (5-5) struggled offensively until the seventh inning against Yavapai. Scoreless through six innings, the Wildcats used an RBI single by Jaussi and a sacrifice fly by Katilyn Covone to creep within 6-2. Then, two-out hits by Carter, Lauren Lesniak and Nicole Lesniak cut Yavapai’s lead to 6-4.
The Lesniak twins combined for half of WNC’s 10 hits.
A day after jamming two fingers while hitting, Nicole Lesniak was up to the task in the circle against Arizona Western. She pitched a complete-game six-hitter in the one-run defeat.
The Wildcats rattled Arizona Western for six hits but left the bases loaded in the second and sixth innings. Mecham and Kacie Freudenberger supplied three and two hits, respectively.
WNC will now prepare for the opening of the Scenic West Athletic Conference season, which starts when the Wildcats play host to College of Southern Idaho on Feb. 27 and 28.
Muckers roll Sierra Lutheran
VIRGINIA CITY — Virginia City got 24 points from Clint Hess and 16 from Colt Hess to easily subdue Sierra Lutheran, 66-24, Saturday in a Division IV game.
Sam McCain added 13. VC is 12-0 in conference, and plays four games next week, including a big one Friday night at Whittell.
Lowry wins Division1A title
ELKO — Lowry easily ran away with the Northern Division 1A wrestling tournament championship on Saturday.
The Buckaroos finished with 291,73 points ahead of second-place Spring Creek. Dayton was seventh with 15 points.
The only state qualifier Dayton was Mitchell Hausman, who placed sixth at 220 pounds for the Dust Devils.