Kody Reynolds just might be the toughest out in the Scenic West Athletic Conference, and he’s swinging the bat better than his solid .319 average would indicate.
Reynolds went 4-for-6 and drove in three runs to lead Western Nevada College to a doubleheader sweep of College of Southern Idaho, 5-4 and 5-3, Friday afternoon at John L. Harvey Field.
The sweep gives WNC a 3-1 record after the first week of SWAC play, and some much needed confidence entering next weekend’s series at Salt Lake Community College.
Reynolds went 8-for-13 with four runs and seven RBI in the two-day series.
“That’s huge coming out of here with three wins,” Reynolds said after the sweep. “If we had split, it would have been like losing (the series).
“I’d been lining out a lot this season. I’m starting to get it going.”
After squeezing home a run in the first, Reynolds doubled home Jake Bennett to highlight a two-run third and give the Wildcats a 3-2 lead.
Starter Chase Kaplan held that lead until the seventh when pinch-hitter Dugan Shirer singled, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, took third on a passed ball by Tim Lichty and scored on a sacrifice fly by pinch-hitter Jordan Freese which extended the game to extra innings.
Mikey Ortega sent CSI ahead 4-3 when he homered off Kaplan on a 1-0 pitch. Two batters later, Jake Boyd blooped a double into right field. Boyd took third on an errant throw back into the infield. Reliever Cody Kerns struck out Quentin Marcelin looking to end the eighth.
WNC came back with a vengeance.
Parker Loutensock came on in relief for CSI, and Brad Lewis reached on an error. Lewis moved to second on Jake Bennett’s single to right, and the runners moved to second and third on a balk. With the infield in and first base open, CSI elected to pitch to Reynolds. That proved to be a huge mistake. Reynolds slammed a 1-2 pitch to left, driving Lewis home with the tying run. After Lichty was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Corey Pool hit a sacrifice fly to center to end the game.
“I knew they would go off-speed,” Reynolds said. “I was trying to be aggressive. I was trying not to do too much with it.”
“It was pick your poison,” WNC coach D.J. Whittemore said. “Tim (Lichty) was up next, and he’s a good hitter. If you’re not in the dugout, this is what he’s been doing the whole year. He doesn’t have as much to show for how well he’s swinging the bat. When your clean-up hitter is hot, that’s a good sign.”
Whittemore was pleased with Kaplan’s effort. He fanned six and walked three in 7.2 innings.
“Chase competed well,” Whittemore said. “He kept us in the game.”
Ty Fox started the second game in unimpressive fashion, allowing a single and two walks. Fortunately he got away with just one run allowed.
Reynolds keyed a three-run first off Damon Jones with a twisting double to right, scoring David Modler (bunt single) and Bennett (single). Pool squeezed home Reynolds, who had reached third on a wild pitch.
CSI made it 3-2 in the second on a sacrifice fly by Ethan Ibarra, but the Wildcats matched that score in the second when Brogan Secrist singled and eventually scored on a wild pitch. WNC made it 5-2 in the fourth when D.J. Peters doubled, moved to third on Secrist’s single and scored on Blake Morin’s sacrifice fly.
Fox, who strung scoreless iniings together in the third and fourth, yielded a run the fifth on a Jordan Freese double. He escaped further damage by retiring the next two hitters on infield rollers.
The score stayed that way, though CSI made WNC sweat in the seventh.
With a runner at first and one out, Fox had a chance to end the game with a double play. However, he threw the comebacker away at second, putting runners at first and third. Lefty Jon Guzman came on to get Freese to ground into a game-ending double play.
WNC is now 12-8 on the season.