Western Nevada sweeps Eastern Utah
Behind dominant pitching from Kyle Starratt and Josh Moody, the Western Nevada College baseball team swept a doubleheader on Friday at College of Eastern Utah.
The Wildcats won the opener 5-3 and the nightcap 10-2 in eight innings when the game was called due to the mercy rule. In game one, Starratt allowed just two hits and didn’t walk a batter, not allowing any runs.
In the nightcap, Moody allowed one run on six hits while striking out six and walking one. Eastern Utah also apparently retaliated against WNC (17-14 overall, 11-7 in Scenic West Athletic Conference play) for hitting four home runs on the day, including three in the nightcap, when Lance Ray was hit in the back with a pitch in the eighth inning of game two. It was the first time in the three years of the program that WNC hit three homers in one game.
“Starratt was awesome in game one,” WNC coach D.J. Whittemore said, “Moody was awesome.”
Brian Barnett hit two solo home runs in the nightcap. Logan Parsley also hit a grand slam homer that gave the Wildcats an 8-1 lead in the fifth inning.
After Barnett hit his second homer to give WNC a 9-2 lead in the eighth, Eastern Utah apparently had enough because Ray was then hit in the back.
Both teams were given a warning which drew the ire of Whittemore. If WNC had retaliated, whoever the pitcher was would have been suspended for six games and Whittemore would have received a one-game suspension.
But instead of suspensions being issued, only a warning was given to Eastern Utah.
“My thinking process was, you don’t hit a guy for hitting a home run unless he shows you up,” Whittemore said. “Brian put his head down and he circled the bases. I’m just not a big fan of the warning. If you don’t want to give up home runs, make better pitches.”
Ray still had a chance to retaliate. He stole second and then third base coach Mike Gillies was going to make sure he scored on Logan Odom’s RBI single to give WNC a 10-2 lead.
Barnett was 3-for-5, Odom was 2-for-4 and Brett Moravec and Kevin Schlange each had two hits and a double. James Crockett allowed one run over the last two innings.
In the opener with two outs, Jerome Pena homered in the first and Barnett walked. Barnett stole second and scored on Ray’s single to make it 2-0.
In the fourth after Kyle Gutchewsky was hit by a pitch, Travis Feiner and Chuck Howard followed with RBI singles. In the seventh, Parsley walked, stole second and third and scored on Davis Banks’ RBI sacrifice fly.
Matt Klein struggled as he was touched for three runs in the seventh before Andrew Reid came on to pick up the save. Feiner and Ray were both 2-for-4.
“All in all I thought we had a great day,” Whittemore said. “We had a string of about six innings of great at bats.”
WNC and Eastern Utah will finish their four-game series with a doubleheader, beginning at 11 a.m. today.
Kyle Farrell and Jordan Blanchard will start for the Wildcats, who will have to face Riley Gordon.
In his three starts against College of Southern Idaho, College of Southern Nevada and Salt Lake Community College, Gordon has 18 strikeouts and three walks. Gordon beat CSI last week 3-1.
“We’re going to have to be sharp,” Whittemore said.