HENDERSON — Entering the 2016 baseball season, Western Nevada College knew the strength of its club was starting pitching. Opponents are discovering that on their own. Cochise College, the 13th-ranked team by the National Junior College Athletic Association, certainly won’t dispute that claim.
Sophomore left-hander Chase Kaplan provided WNC with its fourth straight solid start as the Wildcats completed a series sweep of the Apaches of Douglas, Ariz., 9-6, on Saturday at Morse Stadium.
Kaplan (2-0) worked six innings, surrendering just one hit while striking out seven and walking two. Kaplan also provided a save in Game 1 of the series.
Justin Mannens lashed a one-out double to left in the fourth inning. An infield single Blake Morin moved Mannens to third. After trying to put down a safety squeeze bunt, Chandler Barkdull delivered a sacrifice fly to score Mannens. Morin eventually came home on a wild pitch by Tommy Martinez to make it 3-1.
David Molder led off the seventh with an opposite-field double. Reliever Adam Delacruz uncorked a pair of wild pitches to score Modler for a 4-1 WNC lead.
In the eighth, Modler delivered an insurance run with a two-out single to right field, and WNC broke it open with four runs in the ninth. Eric Flores widened the gap to 7-3 with a two-run single and a wild pitch sent Lewis home with the Wildcats’ eighth run. Chandler Barkdull’s single to right brought home Mannens with WNC’s final run.
Modler, D.J. Peters, Mannens and Morin each provided two hits.
Wildcats split final 2 games
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — There has been no shortage of opportunities for Western Nevada College to measure itself against the elite junior college softball teams in the county. A week after losing a tight game with second-ranked Eastern Arizona, the Wildcats squared off with Phoenix College, the National Junior College Athletics Association’s top-ranked Division II team, at the Artichoke Classic on Saturday in Scottsdale, Ariz.
The Wildcats were tied with Phoenix in the fifth inning. Phoenix, however, rallied for six runs in the fifth and sixth innings for an 8-3 victory.
Trailing 2-1 in the fifth, WNC produced the tying run on a two-out hit by Makaylee Jaussi.
With Triniece Lesky on second base, Jaussi popped a run-scoring double to center.
Prior to its matchup with Phoenix on Saturday, a pinch-hit double by Britni Greninger broke a tie and Kaitlyn Jimmy provided scoreless relief as the Wildcats overcame South Mountain Community College, 7-5, to even their record at 5-5.
WNC jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a two-run base hit by Noa Talia. The rally started with Jaussi singling to left and swiping second base. Then, Bailey Henderson beat out a bunt to third, advancing Jaussi to third, before stealing second base.
WNC padded its lead to 3-0 in the second as Triniece Lesky belted her first homer of the season. Briauna Carter and Chelsea Latu scored unearned runs before the second inning expired, pushing WNC’s cushion to five runs.
In the sixth, Jaussi reached base on a walk and went to third on Henderson’s base hit to center. Both Wildcats came home on a double by pinch-hitter Greninger.
CHS grad Jimmy gave up two hits in 4 1/3 scoreless innings to notch the victory. She threw 25 strikes and required only 31 pitches to complete the win.
Henderson and Jaussi went 2 for 4 with two runs scored, while Talia knocked in two runs with two hits.
Muckers win big
PYRAMID LAKE — The Muckers set up a huge game at Hawthorne this Friday by trampling Pyramid Lake, 63-43, Friday night and Smith Valley 64-20 Saturday in Division IV action.
Colt Hess led the way with 21 and Hugh Fonzo added 16 against Pyramid Lake.
Hess scored 17, Tanner Uken had 16 and Fonzo added 12 against Smith Valley.
Viringia City plays for second place in league at Hawthorne this Friday.
Lowry handles Dayton
WINNEMUCCA — The Dust Devile led by four at the half, but Lowry went on a 41-21 tear in the second half to come away with a 70-54 win Saturday in a Northern 1A game.
“We stayed with them for three of the four quarters,” said assistant coach Kevin Ply. “They came out intense on defense (in the third quarter) and forced a lot of turnovers.” Dayton had 30 turnovers.
Lowry outscored Dayton 20-4 in the third quarter to wipe out Dayton’s 33-29 lead.
Josh Riders, who finished with 30 points, scored 17 of those in the first half. J.J. Ply added 10 points and six rebounds, and Trevor Burrows added six points, two assists and two blocks.
Dayton hosts Sparks on Tuesday, and then visits Spring Creek and Elko next weekend.
Lowry slams Dayton
WINNEMUCCA — Lowry rolled to a 16-point halftime lead and coasted to a 61-17 win over the Dust Devils in a Northern 1A game Saturday afternoon.
Angela Sikora led the way with 15 points and two blocked shots.
“Lowry is a solid team,” Dayton coach Kelly Frantz said. “We had a hard time matching up with Lowry’s height.”
Hawthorne edges Falcons
Despite going scoreless in the last period, Hawthorne still managed to edge Sierra Lutheran, 38-34, Saturday afternoon.
Grace Bonafede scored 15 points and pulled down 14 rebounds, while Kirsten Iverson added 12 points.
Lowry wins big
WINNEMUCCA — Dayton’s JV girls lost 59-3. Mary Jo Hatch had Dayton’s only basket.
Sierra Lutheran cruises
Lena Richardson scored 16 points and Aleyna Gilson 11 to lead the Falcons to a 52-10 win over Hawthorne.
— Western Nevada College contributed to this report