CSI no mystery to Wildcats | NevadaAppeal.com

CSI no mystery to Wildcats

Justin Lawson

The Western Nevada College baseball team proved Friday that it knows how to win games, no matter how hard those victories are to come by.

The No. 5-ranked Wildcats took the first two games of their doubleheader with Southern Idaho, 3-1 and 8-7, by finding ways to get the ball in play, something they struggled with just a week earlier.

“Last weekend our pitchers did a really good job of throwing strikes and holding Southern Nevada’s bats back, this week our offense picked us up,” WNC coach D.J. Whittemore said. “I think, by my count, we struck out only three times in both games combined. Amazing effort by the offense.”

WNC improved to 6-4 in the Scenic West Athletic Conference and 18-7 overall with the win, while Southern Idaho is now 1-8 in conference and 12-13 overall. The two will play another doubleheader starting at noon today.

After dropping three close games last week to top-ranked Southern Nevada, the Wildcats answered the call in the sixth inning of the first game and continued to do so against a relentless Golden Eagles team.

Jay Skilton reached first thanks to an Southern Idaho error to start off the sixth. He stole second and two batters later Spencer Ofelt was intentionally walked. Two batters later, with two outs, Kyle Conwell knocked a double to deep part of right field to clear the bases and take a 2-0 lead.

“Before coach had me come over to him and told me that he trust me to know what I’m going to see,” Conwell said of the at-bat. “In my mind, I was just waiting for a curveball. He had been throwing them to me the whole time. So once that first-pitch changeup, the he hung that curveball, I was just on it the whole time.”

Jonathan Sigado singled him in on the next at-bat and the Wildcats took a 3-0 lead.

David Carroll relieved Kramer Champlin after he surrendered a run in the sixth. Carroll got the final out of the inning and earned the save in the seventh.

In the second game, both teams exchanged runs through the first four innings on the way to a 4-4 tie.

The Wildcats broke the game open in the fifth after Kevin Taylor walked to lead off the inning. Ofelt singled on the next at-bat and Conwell advanced Taylor on a sacrifice fly to right field. Ofelt stole second and Southern Idaho catcher Remmington Pullin’s attempted throw out went high into centerfield. Taylor scored to make the game 5-4 and Ofelt moved to third.

Two batters later CSI made another error allowing Ofelt to score and Chris Sinclair to reach safely at first. After a wild pitch moved Sinclair to second, Eric Maupin knocked him in to take a 7-4 lead.

The Wildcats used six pitchers in the game an need everyone to get out of tough situations. The Golden Eagles put another put runs on the board in the sixth, eighth and ninth as they strung together 11 hits in the game. But the Wildcats answered in the eighth with a run and brought in Riley Bevil to strike out the final two batters of the game.

“I think the depth of our pitching really came through right there,” Whittemore said. “And it’s going to have show up (today) if we’re going to have a chance to win.”