Whittemore, Carson City’s WNC pick up 400th win
Three straight two-out hits in the third inning by Western Nevada College triggered the Wildcats’ largest hitting output of the season in a 9-6 come-from-behind baseball victory over Colorado Northwestern Community College on Thursday at John L. Harvey Field in Carson City.
The Wildcats produced a season-high 19 hits, including four by David Modler, in providing D.J. Whittemore and the WNC baseball program with its 400th career victory.
“This is a kind of game you can win after playing 25 games already because you understand that you can only control the next pitch,” Whittemore said. “The offense has done a great job all year and did a great job today. Those guys are talented and they work hard.”
The victory raised WNC’s Scenic West Athletic Conference-leading record to 7-2. CNCC dropped to 3-6.
Whittemore modified his usual batting order by moving up Bradley Lewis to the leadoff position and shifting Modler to the No. 8 spot.
“I wanted to give Brad a shot at being the leadoff hitter, and obviously we love having Jake (Bennett) and Kody (Reynolds) up as much as possible,” Whittemore said.
“We’re still experimenting with the lineup and still trying to find the best combination.”
Modler accepted the switch in the batting order by delivering the most hits he’s produced as a collegiate player. After making an out in his first at-bat, Modler had four successive hits. The freshman scored a run and knocked in two.
“Coach said to keep my same approach and not change anything because I’m down in the lineup. I went up there with my same approach and good things happened today,” Modler said. “I was definitely waiting for a game to get where I was before. I’ve been struggling with the bat and getting some tough breaks, but today some things went good for me.”
Eight of the nine Wildcats in the lineup collected at least two hits. Corey Pool went 3 for 4 with an RBI, Austin Andrews was 2 for 5 with two runs scored, Lewis was 2 for 4 with a run scored, Bennett was 2 for 4 with an RBI and run scored, Reynolds was 2 for 3 with two RBI, Tim Lichty was 2 for 4 with an RBI and run scored and D.J. Peters was 2 for 4 with two runs scored and two RBI.
In the sixth inning, Peters put the Wildcats on top to stay, 7-6, with a sacrifice fly.
The Wildcats provided closer Connor Zwetsch with some breathing room in the eighth. David Modler’s two-run single plated pinch-runner Brogan Secrist and Peters, extending the Wildcats’ lead to 9-6.
Zwetsch gave up just one hit in two scoreless innings to earn his fourth save. Josh Mill, making only his third appearance of the season because of shoulder tightness, pitched a scoreless inning as a set-up man out of the bullpen.
“I knew the scouting report about how to pitch each guy, so I just went based on that and went for it,” Zwetsch said.
Matt Young pitched six innings to notch his staff-leading sixth win in eight decisions. He gave up seven hits and fanned three.
“We knew from the start that they were going to be ready to play no matter what. We knew how scrappy they are as a team and we saw it today,” Modler said. “Any time we get down we’re going to trust our offense to get us back in the game.”
Bennett extended his streak of reaching base to 25 games with a fourth-inning RBI single.
The teams will continue their four-game series with a noon doubleheader today at John L. Harvey Field.