WNC takes three of four against No. 1 CSN | NevadaAppeal.com
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WNC takes three of four against No. 1 CSN

HENDERSON ” It’s not often that fans can give their team a standing ovation after an 8-2 loss. And it’s not often that team deserves a standing ovation after an 8-2 loss.

But that’s what happened Saturday at Leid Field against College of Southern Nevada as the Western Nevada College Wildcats and their fans weren’t about to complain.

Despite the 8-2 loss to the Coyotes in the series finale, the Wildcats won the first three games of the series, leading to that standing ovation.

With plenty of help from his friends as the Wildcats put on a defensive clinic, Kyle Farrell pitched a complete-game nine-hitter ” that’s right, nine-hitter ” as WNC won Saturday’s first game, 5-1.

To put it in perspective, the Wildcats took three of four from the nation’s No. 1 team at CSN, beating a Coyotes club that has defeated the country’s other four teams in the top five in the process.

“I’m real proud of the way we played,” WNC coach D.J. Whittemore said. “I thought we gave a great effort. Awesome defense all weekend. Just great at bats. We really rose to the challenge. They bring out the best in us. This makes all the work worthwhile.”

In the opener, WNC took a 3-0 lead in the third inning when McQueen High School graduate Brian Barnett hit a three-run home run over the left-field fence after sophomore Logan Parsley was hit by a pitch and Andrew Reid walked. Barnett took a high fastball on the first pitch, but not on the second as he took another high fastball out of the park.

“Fastball up,” Barnett said. “They tried throwing two on me. I took advantage of the second one.”

Farrell, who struck out six, improved to 4-0 and improved his 1.31 earned run average, not allowing an earned run. Farrell received help from sophomore shortstop Kyle Gutchewsky in the bottom of the third. CSN’s Braeden Schlehuber’s infield single would have loaded the bases, but the runner took too wide of a turn around third and Gutchewsky gunned him down to end the inning.

With runners at second and third and one out in the fourth, WNC freshman Jerome Pena caught a fly ball in right field and nailed the runner trying to score for an inning-ending double play.

“It feels really good,” Farrell said. “I knew our team had it. All we needed to do was stay within ourselves and we’d be OK and try not to do too much. I had tons of help from the defense. I couldn’t be happier with the guys. I just knew if I kept throwing strikes, the defense would be there to help me out. I just stuck with it.”

Farrell also said catcher Chuck Howard called an outstanding game.

“I also have to give a lot of credit to my catcher, Chuck,” Farrell said.

In the sixth, Wildcats freshman third baseman Davis Banks singled, moved to second on Cliff Shepard’s sacrifice bunt and Howard and Pena followed with RBI singles to make it 5-0.

CSN scored an unearned run in the bottom of the sixth for the final margin.

“Farrell was outstanding,” Whittemore said. “He was really down in the zone.”

Howard had three hits, including a double, Barnett also added a double and Parsley, Shepard and Lance Ray all added a hit.

CSN 8, WNC 2

Taylor Cole showed why the Los Angeles Dodgers drafted him in the seventh round last year out of Bishop Gorman High. Cole improved to 3-0 and improved his 2.22 earned run average. He really shouldn’t have given up a run, striking out nine over six innings.

Despite throwing over 100 pitches, Cole was still reaching 93 mph in the sixth.

Northern Nevada fans should remember Cole from last year’s NIAA Class 4A State Championship game against Galena, in which he pitched eight innings for the win.

In the wild finish ” in which the Gaels had the game-winning run taken away because two runners failed to advance ” Cole scored that would-be winning run before driving in the eventual game-winning run. In that respect, Cole is surely the only player in Nevada history to score and drive in the winning run in a state championship game.

It looked like CSN (12-7, 1-3 in the Scenic West Athletic Conference) was still suffering from a hangover from the first three games when two errors by catcher Remington Wilson led to a 1-0 lead for WNC in the first.

But CSN touched Wildcats starter Javy Perez for three runs in the bottom of the first. CSN’s Kyle Bostick and Brandon Troderick each had RBI singles and then Perez was the victim of bad luck as a wind-blown popup landed for an RBI single, giving the Coyotes a 3-1 lead.

Perez was chased in the second after allowing Bostick’s RBI single to make it 4-1. Matt Klein came in and pitched 3 2/3 scoreless innings before tiring in the sixth.

In the top of the sixth, Barnett singled and the inning was kept alive when Brett Moravec struck out, but advanced to first on a wild pitch. Howard followed with an RBI single, but Moravec committed an ill-advised mistake, being thrown out for the third out when he tried to advance to third on Howard’s single to right.

After Klein tired, neither James Crockett or Pena fared that well as CSN went on to score four runs to take an 8-2 lead. Tyler Lavigne came on to pitch a scoreless seventh for the Coyotes.

Pena had two hits, including a double, and Parsley added a hit for WNC (9-8, 3-1).

Despite the outstanding start, Whittemore noted there’s a long way to go.

“We still need to stay grounded, keep working hard, find ways to get better,” he said. “But we couldn’t ask for a better start.”

Notes: With the win in the finale, CSN avoided being swept at home in a four-game conference series for the first time in school history…Not counting forfeits, WNC now leads the overall series against CSN 10-9.