WNC baseball takes 3 out of 4 from Salt Lake
No pitcher likes seeing two-time Major League Baseball draftee D.J. Peters coming to the plate, especially with the bases loaded.
Salt Lake pitcher Jayden Hartle faced that predicament on Saturday afternoon and paid the price. Peters crushed a Hartle changeup well over the left-field fence for a game-turning grand slam, leading Western Nevada College to a 10-5 Scenic West Athletic Conference baseball victory in West Jordan, Utah.
Peters supplemented his big offensive day with a two-run homer on a fastball from reliever Ian Ence in the sixth inning. The sophomore center fielder finished with three hits, three runs scored and six RBI.
“D.J. was really tough to get out today, and we had a lot of different contributors on offense,” said WNC coach D.J. Whittemore.
The Wildcats rallied for a 9-4 victory in Game 2, roughing up the Bruin bullpen for six hits and five runs during a pivotal sixth inning. A two-out RBI single by David Modler and a two-run double by Peters highlighted the uprising.
The doubleheader sweep kept WNC in first place in the SWAC standings at 7-1. The Wildcats, who have won 10 of their past 11 games, are 17-7 overall. It was WNC’s first series win at Salt Lake since 2013 and only the second time the Wildcats have done so since 2009.
“We had a great series, and I am extremely proud of my teammates and coaching staff,” Peters said.
The Wildcats put together two-out rally in the fourth. An error by right fielder Micquel Robinson allowed Casey Cornwell to advance to second base. Leadoff hitter Chandler Barkdull surprised the Bruins with a bunt single along the third-base line, then Tim Lichty filled the bases for Peters with a walk.
Peters’ fifth homer of the season cleared the fence so fast left fielder Nic Roberts just turned and watched it leave the park.
The offensive fireworks by Peters made a winner of freshman pitcher Jordan Ragan. Ragan (2-1) worked into the sixth inning, allowing six hits and four earned runs.
Bradley Lewis executed a hit and run in the third inning to extend WNC’s lead to 3-1.
Modler, Lewis and Peters combined for seven of the Wildcats’ 10 hits. Modler was 2 for 3 with three RBI and Lewis went 2 for 3 with a RBI.
In the series finale, Brogan Secrist followed a base hit by Sam Salyers with his first homer of the season to give WNC a 3-2 lead in the second.
In the sixth as the Wildcats erupted for five runs on six hits. Chad Bell fueled the rally with a pinch-hit single to center. Abe Yagi sent Bell to third with a double. Eric Flores tied the game with a sacrifice fly to center, and Cornwell put WNC in front, 5-4, with a base hit. Reliever Mitch Cavanagh fared no better as Modler added a RBI single and Peters delivered a two-run double for an 8-4 WNC lead.
Fox worked 4 2/3 innings of scoreless relief to earn his first win of the season. Josh Mill pitched the final two innings, escaping a bases-loaded jam in the ninth with a pair of strikeouts.
Modler’s three hits and two runs paced the Wildcats’ 13-hit attack. Secrist was 2 for 5 with two runs scored and two RBI, while Cornwell chipped in two hits and two RBI and Bell came off the bench for two hits and a run scored.
WNC will continue conference play on the road by visiting Colorado Northwestern on Friday and Saturday in Rangely.
WNC SOFTBALL SWEPT
A stellar relief performance by sophomore Kristina George, and Bailey Henderson’s seventh-inning home run brought Western Nevada College on the brink of an upset of third-ranked Salt Lake on Saturday in Taylorsville, Utah. But the Bruins held on for a 4-3 victory in the opening game of a Scenic West Athletic Conference doubleheader.
George also threw four innings of two-hit relief in Game 2, but Salt Lake’s Lauren Frailey was even better, tossing a four-hit shutout as the Bruins completed the four-game sweep with a 5-0 win.
WNC pushed across two runs in the second inning in the opener. Dakota Robinson started the rally with a walk and went to third on a single by Briauna Carter. Jensen’s wild pitch sent Robinson home, and Carter came home on Jensen’s second wild pitch of the inning.
WNC missed an opportunity to tighten the score in the fifth when Triniece Lesky and Makaylee Jaussi started the inning with base hits. But Jensen retired the next three Wildcats as the Bruins held on to their 4-2 lead.
Jaussi had two of the Wildcats’ five hits.
WNC meets Colorado Northwestern on Friday and Saturday at the Edmonds Sports Complex. Friday’s action starts at 1 p.m.