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Simpson’s grand slam gives Bighorns a sweep

Appeal Staff Report

Ryan Simpson’s walk-off grand slam home run finished off a doubleheader sweep for the Nevada Bighorns against the San Leandro Braves in baseball on Saturday at Western Nevada College’s John L. Harvey Field.

On a day in which two pitchers who should be counted on heavily by the University of Nevada next year, the Bighorns won the opener 7-5 and the nightcap 5-3 thanks to Simpson’s grand slam. Stephen Bautista started on the mound in the opener and Chris Garcia started the nightcap and both Wolf Pack pitchers were impressive for the Bighorns.

Vic Guerrero, who pitched a scorless seventh inning to pick up the save in Friday’s 2-1 win for the Braves over the Bighorns, came into the seventh in Saturday’s nightcap to protect a 3-1 lead.

But Jeff Young led off with a double, Kevin Schlange was hit by a pitch and Tyson Jaquez walked to load the bases. Simpson followed with a shot to straightaway centerfield that went over the tall fence in center. Jaquez pitched a scorless seventh for the win.

Simpson’s homer overcame an oustanding effort by Justin Byrnes, who struck out six over six innings for the Braves. Byrnes worked out of jams in the fourth and fifth with the score tied 1-1.

Simpson singled and Adam Anderson and Ryan Lane were both hit by pitches to load the bases with one out in the fourth, but Byrnes struck out D.J. Brady and Jonathan Silva to end the threat.

In the fifth, Schlange singled and Jaquez and Simpson walked to load the bases with one out, but Byrnes got Marshall Kennebrew to hit into an inning-ending double play.

Ryan Lopes and Cody Dorrell each hit RBI singles to give the Braves a 3-1 lead in the sixth. Garcia ended up allowing three runs and striking out six over six innings.

In the bottom of th sixth, Byrnes received help from a sensational defensive play by centerfielder Stephen Rivera, who made a diving catch in right centerfield to rob Anderson of extra bases.

The Bighorns took a 1-0 lead in the second when Simpson doubled and scored on Kennebrew’s single. Simpson had three hits, Young had two hits and Lane added a hit.

In the opener, Bautista allowed three runs over six innings while striking out five. The Bighorns built a 7-1 lead before Lopes hit a two-run double in the sixth and Sean Rogers hit a two-run double in the seventh to bring the Braves to within 7-5.

After allowing Rogers’ wind-blown double, Brett Low, who came on in the seventh, settled down to strike out the last two batters with runners and first and third and one out to end the game.

Jaquez hit a solo home run and doubled, Lane had three hits, including a double, Brady had two hits, including a double, Tommy O’Brien had two hits and Young added a hit.

The Bighorns will next play the Reno Astros at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Moana Stadium.

DOUGLAS 10, CARDINALS 1

Tyler Hoelzen pitched a complete game for the Douglas Tigers in their win at Ron McNutt Field. Hoelzen struck out eight over seven innings while allowing five hits and retired the last 12 batters he faced.

Tyler Hutchins struck out five over 3 1/3 innings, but was let down by his defense in the second when the Tigers took advantage of three errors and another defensive lapse on a rundown to score four unearned runs on just one hit.

Troy Torres hit a solo homer in the second as Douglas took a 6-0 lead. Brett Valley singled and eventually scored on a passed ball for the Cardinals to make it 6-1 in the bottom of the third.

In the fourth, Tyler May hit an RBI double, Tannar Thomas hit an RBI single and Ryan Moglich hit a two-run homer to give Douglas a 10-1 lead. Kyle Stone came on and shut down Douglas the rest of the way, striking out four over 3 1/3 innings.

Stone, Cody Barr, Tommy Preston and David Charles all added a hit for the Cardinals. Torres and May each had two hits and Michael Whalin and Hoelzen each added a hit for Douglas. The Cardinals will next play at 7 p.m. today against the Sierra Sun Devils at McNutt Field.