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Western Nevada settles for split

Appeal Staff Report

After a wild day, the Western Nevada College baseball team had what could be called a would’ve, could’ve, should’ve weekend. But then again, the Wildcats aren’t in too bad of shape.

WNC settled for a split on Saturday at College of Southern Idaho as the Wildcats won the opener 10-6, but then lost the nightcap 4-3 in 10 innings. The Wildcats could have easily won three of four this weekend, losing leads late in two of its three losses.

But then again, the Wildcats aren’t in bad shape after coming away at 4-4 in the Scenic West Athletic Conference against two of the conference’s powers on the road in CSI and College of Southern Nevada. CSI is 3-5 in the SWAC. “It’s a marathon,” WNC coach D.J. Whittemore said. “You learn from the close losses.”

The Wildcats planned on redshirting Jordan Blanchard, but he gave up his redshirt year to pitch in the nightcap and was outstanding. “He gave up his redshirt to pitch and pitched brilliantly in relief,” Whittemore said.

Kyle Farrell was outstanding in winning the opener for WNC. But there was also bad news to the day as Logan Parsley sprained his ankle in the first game and didn’t play for the rest of the day. Whittemore said he would know more about Parsley’s status on Monday.

Both teams had their chances in the nightcap as both teams left numerous runners. The Wildcats had 12 hits, but left the bases loaded twice. “It was just one of the all-time classics,” Whittemore said.

Matt Klein started for WNC in the nightcap and gave the Wilcats 3.2 solid innings. Then Blanchard took over, striking out nine over 5.2 scoreless innings.

“Just getting to see Blanchard coming into big-time pressure situation and coming throught, it was worth every moment of the game,” Whittemore said. “It was fun to see.”

WNC led 2-1 when CSI tied the score 2-2 in the bottom of the fifth inning. Then came a wild 10th. “Crazy inning,” Whittemore said.

Jerome Pena led off with a double, but was thrown out at third trying to stretch the hit into a triple. Chuck Howard and Brian Barnett singled and Lance Ray walked to load the bases. Davis Banks singled home Howard, but Barnett was thrown out trying to score for the last out of the inning.

CSI then struck for two runs in the bottom of the 10th to win it. Javy Perez, who had come on in the ninth, was the tough luck loser. The winning run came with two outs on an 0-2 count when the runner scored from third on an infield single.

Banks had three hits and two RBI, Pena had three hits, Kyle Gutchewsky had two hits and an RBI, Howard had two hits and Ray added a hit.

In the opener, Farrell was touched for two runs on three hits in the first, but didn’t give up another hit until the sixth. “He was dominant,” Whittemore said. Farrell allowed three runs in six innings.

CSI rallied in the seventh and Andrew Reid had to come on to record the final two outs to pick up the save. Parsley was 2-for-3 with an RBI, Ray was 2-for-4 with two RBI, Barnett was 2-for-3, Cliff Shephard was 1-for-1 with two RBI, Brett Moravec was 1-for-1 with an RBI and Banks, Gutchewsky and Pena all added a hit.