WNC roundup: Bell rings true, softball upsets Salt Lake
Chad Bell picked an opportune time to have his most productive day in a Western Nevada College uniform on Friday at John L. Harvey Field. With Wildcat lefty Matt Young and Salt Lake’s Joe Barlow dueling in the opening game of a Scenic West Athletic Conference baseball doubleheader, the freshman third baseman broke a 1-1 tie with a three-run homer in the fifth inning. Bell added a two-run single in the sixth as the Wildcats made Matt’s Young three-hitter over six innings stand up for an 8-4 victory.
The Wildcats received another quality start in Game 2 as Ty Fox tossed a four-hitter over seven innings en route to a 6-1 win, completing a doubleheader sweep in Carson City.
Playing at home for the first time since March 4, the Wildcats supported their outstanding starting pitching with 26 total hits in the two games. WNC improved to 18-8 in the SWAC and 28-14 overall.
The Wildcats manufactured the tying run in the bottom of the fourth inning. A two-out RBI single by David Modler knotted the score at 1.
In the pivotal fifth, Barlow retired the first two hitters before surrendering a base hit to Abe Yagi and walking Daniel Nist. That set up Bell for his line-drive homer to right.
“I was pretty excited at that point,” said Bell, who took an inside changeup from Barlow over the fence. “I was seeing the ball pretty good all day, and I was happy to see him leave one where I could get a hold of it.”
The Wildcats chased Barlow an inning later following two-out hits from Tim Lichty and Bradley Lewis, and D.J. Peters being hit by a pitch for the second time. Salt Lake’s Braxton Bullock struggled with his control coming out of the bullpen, walking Brogan Secrist to score pinch-runner Justin Mannens, increasing WNC’s lead to 5-1. Bullock also walked Nist, plating Peters before Bell sent a single through the middle of the infield to score the Wildcats’ final two runs.
Bell was 3 for 4 with a run scored and five RBI, Lichty was 2 for 4 with a run scored and Nist was 1 for 2 with two runs scored and a RBI.
In the second game, the Wildcats erupted for four runs in the third. Lewis and Yagi provided RBI base hits and Nist delivered a run-scoring double as WNC went ahead 4-1.
Lichty’s two-out RBI base hit to shallow center field padded WNC’s lead to 5-1 in the sixth inning. The sophomore catcher tacked on a RBI double in the eighth.
Lichty topped WNC’s 17-hit attack by going 4 for 5 with three RBI.
Peters was 3 for 5 with two runs scored, while Yagi delivered three hits, knocked in a run and scored. Modler, Lewis and Nist provided two hits apiece. However, the Wildcats left 23 runners on base in the two games. “You have to get the hit and you have to be situationally aggressive,” WNC hitting coach Aaron Demosthenes said. “Obviously with a little two-strike hitting we could have been better there, too,”
The Wildcats and Bruins conclude their four-game series today with a doubleheader starting at noon.
WNC upsets SLCC
Bailey Henderson’s 10th-inning single gave the Wildcats a 3-2 win over Salt Lake in the opening game of Friday’s SWAC doubleheader.
Results of the second game were unavailable.
The game was deadlocked at 2 after nine innings, and the team went to the international tiebreaker. Salt Lake failed to score. Samantha Bell starting WNC’s half of the inning at second base, went to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Henderson’s single. Pitcher Kristina George earned the win for the Wildcats.
Salt Lake struck early, putting up two runs in the first inning, but WNC bounced back with one on singles by Makaylee Jaussi and Kacie Freudenberger.
Western tied the game in the second when Briauna Carter walked and scored on Triniece Lesky’s single.
All was quiet until the seventh inning when Salt Lake put the pressure on by loading the bases. The Wildcats held strong, making a great defensive play at the plate to prevent the Bruins from taking the lead. In the bottom of the inning, Gabrielle Canibeyaz singled, but was left stranded, taking the game into extra innings.
Games continue today at noon and 2 p.m. at Edmonds Sports Complex.