It’s one wild win for the Wildcats
Here’s stating the obvious. It was simply the most dramatic win in the short two-year history of the Western Nevada Community College baseball program.
Stephen Sauer came on with the bases loaded and no outs and struck out the side to preserve WNCC’s 6-4 win over Community College of Southern Nevada on Thursday in the opener of a best two of three game series for the Scenic West Athletic Conference postseason title in Henderson.
With a win today at 6 p.m., the Wildcats can win the title and advance to next week’s district championship in Arizona for the right to play in the National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association World Series. Fans can listen to the game by going to http://www.ccsn.edu, then going to the quick links and clicking on athletics and then clicking where it says to listen here.
Sauer was the last of many stars for the Wildcats who contributed to the win. “There were a lot of heroes,” WNCC coach D.J. Whittemore said.
The Wildcats were down 4-2 in the sixth when Brad Carlsen doubled. He moved to third on Thomas Miller’s flyball and scored on Pat Grennan’s RBI sacrifice fly. Logan Parsley led off the seventh with a home run to tie the score 4-4.
In the eighth, Carlsen doubled and Miller was intentionally walked. After Taylor Mieras walked to load the bases, Tyler Lavign uncorked a wild pitch to give WNCC a 5-4 lead.
In the ninth, Chad Walling came in as a pinch runner, stole second and went to third on a bad throw on the play. Walling scored when Lavign uncorked another wild pitch to make it 6-4.
“We feel really good when he goes on the bases,” said Whittemore about Walling. “He puts a lot of pressure on the defense.
“He makes something happen for us every time he goes into the game. He’s a team player. He just makes the most of his opportunities.”
In the bottom of the ninth, CCSN loaded the bases with no outs against winning pitcher Dan Grubbs on two bad hop singles and a bunt single that hugged the third base line. Sauer, who had been battling an illness, came on to strike out the side and pick up the save.
“He was throwing with great velocity, great command and great movement,” Whittemore said. “You combine those three things, you’re darn near impossible to hit.”
WNCC took a 2-0 lead in the second when Miller singled and Grennan doubled. Both scored on Mieras’ single.
But Cole Rohrbough was the victim of bad luck when CCSN came back to tie the game 2-2 in the bottom of the second. A bad hop single and a dropped popup led to the two runs.
Rohrbough, though benefitted from some solid defense to escape the jam without any further damage. With runners at first and third and no outs, Andrew Reid fielded a groundball at first and threw home to nail the runner at the plate.
CCSN took a 3-2 lead in the fourth when Braeden Schlehuber homered. In the fifth, Kyle Bostick singled and scored on Bryce Massanari’s double to give the Coyotes a 4-2 lead.
Rohbough allowed three earned runs over 6.1 innings, striking out six and walking one, before giving way to Grubbs.
“Cole was outstanding,” Whittemore said. “We figured three of the eight balls were hit hard.
“He battled. He didn’t have his best velocity. But he threw strikes and kept us in the ball game.”
Carlsen doubled twice, Miller had two hits and Bondurant and Reid each added a hit for WNCC.
Justin Garcia is scheduled to start today and no doubt, with the exception of Rohrbough, everyone else will be available, including Grubbs and Sauer.