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Carson City’s WNC baseball hosts CSN

Courtesy of Western Nevada

The start of a pivotal Scenic West Athletic Conference baseball series between first-place Western Nevada College and second-place College of Southern Nevada begins today, one day earlier than originally scheduled.

The four-game series begins at 4 p.m. today at John L. Harvey Field in Carson City.

On Friday, the teams will play at doubleheader at noon and then conclude the series with a single game at noon Saturday.

Last weekend, WNC swept a four-game nonconference series with Mount Hood Community College of Gresham, Ore., and entered the week atop the SWAC standings at 9-3. CSN moved into second place at 7-5 after taking three of four games from College of Southern Idaho in Henderson. The teams have identical 22-10 overall records.

Fans should have a particular interest in the first game of Friday’s doubleheader. Phil Bickford is scheduled to pitch for the Coyotes. Bickford was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays as the 10th pick in the 2013 Major League Baseball draft.

Bickford (4-1) brandishes a 1.70 earned run average season and few batters are making contact with his pitches as he’s striking out nearly two hitters per inning. He has 82 strikeouts and only 12 walks in 42 1/3 innings.

“He’s the best starting pitcher we’ve ever seen,” said D.J. Whittemore, WNC’s 10th-year coach. “I’m sure there is going to be a big adjustment there. We are going to go from facing junior college pitching to major league pitching in one week.”

In his previous outing against CSI, Bickford struck out nine hitters and didn’t allow an earned run in the Coyotes’ 3-2 victory.

NOTES: Fans who are unable to attend the games, can follow the action at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/western-nevada-baseball or at http://www.sidearmstats.com/wnc/baseball. The broadcast and live stats can also be accessed at the WNC baseball website by clicking on schedule and scrolling down to today’s game where the live stats and audio icons can be clicked on… Today is Family Day. All parents and children ages 14 and under attending today’s game will receive free admission.

SOFTBALL

WNC, fresh off winning the series against Snow College, visits College of Southern Nevada for a four game series starting Friday.

The teams will play two doubleheaders, 1 and 3 p.m. on Friday and 12 and 2 on Saturday.

The Wildcats, 8-7, are a half-game in back of CSN, 9-7.