WNC roundup: Baseball splits, softball sweeps
Presented with a second chance at a dramatic final-inning rally on Saturday, the Western Nevada College baseball team was up to the task.
Justin Mannens’ two-run double completed a three-run ninth-inning rally as WNC edged Colorado Northwestern, 7-6, in the second game of a Scenic West Athletic Conference doubleheader at John L. Harvey Field in Carson City. The Spartans survived a four-run final-inning rally in the opener for an 8-7 victory.
“I had a really good mindset going into it, and the biggest thing in those really big moments is just believing it,” Mannens said. “I just visualized it before the at-bat and it fell into place and happened.”
WNC gained ground on SWAC leader College of Southern Nevada, which lost twice in a three-game series with Salt Lake. The Wildcats raised their SWAC mark to 21-9 and overall record to 31-15.
Preceding Mannens’ game-deciding hit was a walk to D.J. Peters, a single by Tim Lichty and a free pass to Abe Yagi. Casey Cornwell also drew a free pass to force in Peters and make the score 6-5.
The Wildcats’ final-inning rally fell just short in the opener. WNC trailed 8-3 going into their final at-bat. Chandler Barkdull started a rally with a four-pitch walk and David Modler cracked his second extra-base hit of the afternoon — a double that sent Barkdull to third. With Peters batting, a wild pitch by Christopher Ramirez sent Barkdull home, making the score 8-4.
Peters’ RBI single to center pulled WNC to within 8-5, ending Ramirez’s outing. The Wildcats greeted reliever Trevar Bradley with base hits from Bradley Lewis and Yagi to fill the bases. WNC crept to within 8-6 on a walk to Mannens, then pinch-hitter Lichty delivered a RBI single to plate Lewis, but a base-running error prevented the Wildcats from tying the score. The mental error proved costly as Bradley struck out Chad Bell and Riley Ingram to end the game.
In the third inning, the Wildcats fought back against Ramirez, the Spartans ace who blanked WNC 1-0 earlier this spring. Cornwell led off with an infield single, and one out later, Modler connected for a two-run homer to right field. It was Modler’s first homer of the season.
Peters made it back-to-back homers, lining his 11th homer of the season into the sagebrush beyond the left-field fence to pull WNC to within 5-3.
Modler and Peters each went 2 for 4 with two runs scored and two RBI. Lewis and Yagi also delivered two hits.
Chad Bell belted a one-out triple into the left-field corner and came around to score on a base hit by Peters to tie the score 1-1 for WNC in the first inning of the nightcap.
But the Wildcats’ bullpen struggled when Whittemore pulled Ty Fox after six innings. Fox gave up four hits and two earned runs in six innings. The Spartans pounced on Josh Mill with three hits and three runs in the seventh.
Peters’ second homer of the afternoon with one out in the seventh pulled the Wildcats within a run.
The teams wind up their four-game set with a twin bill starting at 11 a.m. today.
WNC softball finishes off four-game sweep
Western Nevada College came into Rangely, Colo., struggling to rediscover offensive consistency. The Wildcats refined their hitting strokes on the road, especially on Saturday.
WNC pounded out 14 hits, including three knocks each by Bailey Henderson, Druelle Kierstead and Dakota Robinson en route to an 8-1 Scenic West Athletic Conference softball victory against Colorado Northwestern. Kacie Freudenberger’s home run was the difference as the Wildcats completed the four-game sweep with a 4-3 win shortened to five innings because of adverse weather.
In the four games, the Wildcats totaled 33 hits and 21 runs. The Wildcats improved their SWAC fourth-place record to 13-19 and overall mark to 18-25.
The first-game offensive support was more than Kristina George needed as the sophomore checked the Spartans on four hits and one earned run.
She struck out four and walked three.
Briauna Carter and Noa Talia provided RBI singles in the first inning to put WNC in front, 2-0. Henderson’s RBI single plated Makaylee Jaussi to complete the scoring.
The Wildcats in front, 2-1, in the third in the nightcap on the strength of Robinson’s leadoff triple. Robinson scored on Triniece Lesky’s sacrifice fly.
With seven hits by CNCC in the first 2 1/3 innings and the score tied at 2, WNC coach Leah Wentworth brought in George for her fourth appearance of the series.
George earned her fourth victory of the series, allowing three hits and one earned run in 2 2/3 innings of relief of Marble. She struck out and walked one.
Robinson collected two of the Wildcats’ six hits and Lesky drove home two runs.