Karnos pitches a gem in easy win for Wildcats
HENDERSON — A gem by sophomore pitcher Max Karnos along with offensive executive and aggressive baserunning added up to a 12-0 Western Nevada College baseball victory over College of Southern Idaho on Thursday.
Karnos (2-1) no-hit the Golden Eagles through six innings and Kody Reynolds and Jake Bennett supplied three hits apiece as the Wildcats stemmed a five-game losing streak in Henderson. The Wildcats stole eight bases, including two by Bennett and Austin Andrews, and put down three successful sacrifice bunts.
“It was a clear message to themselves and the coaches that they don’t like losing very much,” said WNC coach D.J. Whittemore. “We executed today and played the type of baseball we’ve been wanting to play all year.”
Whittemore said it was the team’s longest losing streak since 2007, when the Wildcats lost six in a row.
“We were knocking on the door, and that’s not a door that you want to knock on,” Whittemore said.
Reynolds and D.J. Peters punctuated the Wildcats’ highest scoring output of the season with RBI triples during a six-run eighth inning.
The Wildcats also produced a season-high 16 hits.
“That’s the best our team has been this year and the first time we’ve performed in all three phases of the game,” Whittemore said.
Bennett gave his .400 batting average a boost by going 3-for-3 with two runs scored. Corey Pool, Tim Lichty and Riley Ingram each knocked in two runs for the Wildcats.
Cole Walters broke up Karnos’ no-hit bid leading off the seventh. Karnos was attempting to become the third Wildcat pitcher to toss a no-hitter. Christian Stolo fired one against Colorado Northwestern in 2013 and Kramer Champlin recorded the program’s first no-no in 2009.
“Max was outstanding and we made a lot of good plays behind him,” Whittemore said.
Whittemore said Karnos entered the seventh inning having thrown 76 pitches, so the right-hander was nearing his maximum pitch count had the no-hitter continued.
“I have taken pitchers out before when they were throwing a no-hitter,” Whittemore said. “I was going to have a really hard decision to make.”
Nate Gardner also singled during the inning, but the Wildcats turned a double play to preserve the shutout. In his seven-inning outing, Karnos was only two batters over the minimum. He finished with a two-hitter, struck out five and walked one.
Sophomore Cody Kerns completed the two-hit shutout, striking out two Golden Eagles in the eighth.
CSI pitcher Zack Draper came into the game with a 2-0 record and unscored upon.
But he only lasted four innings, giving up six hits and three runs (one earned).
Western Nevada jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second after leaving the bases loaded in the opening frame.
Peters doubled and scored when second baseman Ethan Ibarra made an error on Parker Woodley’s groundball. Woodley stole second base and went to third on the throw to second. David Modler executed a squeeze bunt to bring home Woodley to make the score 2-0.
After Bennett was picked off trying to steal second base in the third, Reynolds doubled down the left-field line for his second hit of the game. Reynolds took third base on a wild pitch and scored on Pool’s groundout, putting WNC ahead 3-0.
The Wildcats scored two more runs in the fifth to take a 5-0 lead. Lichty’s base hit to center scored Bennett and Reynolds.
WNC (7-6) will continue its four-game nonconference play in Henderson when it meets Salt Lake at 1 p.m. today.
Muckers outlast Wells
ELKO — Clint Hess scored 20 points and Carlos Robledo added 10 to lead Virginia City to a 45-38 win over Wells in the Division IV regional playoff opener Thursday night.
Virginia City moves into the semifinals, and plays at 8 p.m. tonight against either Eureka or Excel Christian at Spring Creek High School.