WILDCATS WIN THE CROWN!!!!!!! | NevadaAppeal.com


Appeal Staff Report

Another historic huge step for Western Nevada Community College baseball team. Who knows what kind of giant leap is to come.

WNCC in just its second year won the Scenic West Athletic Conference postseason title with a 6-4 win over Community College of Southern Nevada on Friday in Henderson, taking the series 2-0. The Wildcats now have a conference postseason crown to go along with its conference regular season title in its inaugural season.

The Wildcats advance to district championships for the right to go to the National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association World Series. The three-team regional will begin this Thursday in Colorado to be hosted by that area’s regional champion. The other team in the event will be the winner between Central Arizona Community College and Cochise (Ariz.) Community College.

Thomas Miller hit a three-run home run to ignite WNCC’s attack on Friday and the Wildcats rode the arms of Justin Garcia and Stephen Sauer to the title.

“We’re very happy,” WNCC coach D.J. Whittemore said. “We went through a lot this year. We failed a lot.

“We probably failed more than anybody in our position right now. That’s what makes it satisfying. We feel like we have the best chemistry in the country.”

WNCC jumped out to a 3-0 lead after Kyle Bondurant and Chuck Howard walked in the first inning. Miller belted an inside fastball for his three-run shot. “I was just looking to stay out of a double play,” Miller said.

WNCC took e a 5-0 lead in the fifth when Brad Carlsen tripled home a run and scored on a fielder’s choice. Kevin Schlange’s RBI single made it 6-0 in the seventh.

After working out of a bases loaded jam in the first, Garcia got stronger as the game went along.

“Garcia is a big game pitcher,” Whittemore said. “His heart rate never gets above 70. He just settled down and was planting the fastball at the knees on the black.”

Garcia allowed one earned run through 6.1 innings. An error led to two runs for CCSN in the bottom of the seventh and Sauer came on.

But things got interesting in the ninth as CCSN scored two runs and had Bryce Massanari as the tying run at the plate. But Sauer was able to induce Massanari to hit into a fielder’s choice to end the game. “It was scary to say the least,” Whittemore said.

Sauer was working on back-to-back nights, coming off an effort where he struck out the side with the bases loaded to preserve WNCC’s 6-4 win on Thursday.

“He looked a little tired,” Whittemore said. “His stuff wasn’t as sharp as it was last night but he gutted it out.”

When asked if the title had sunk in, Taylor Mieras, who caught both games, said, “It will tomorrow when we wake up in the morning. We put in a lot of hard work this year.”

Miller, Pat Grennan and Schlange all had two hits while Bondurant, Mieras and Andrew Reid each added a hit.

“When we play good baseball we can beat anybody in the country,” Miller said. “Our pitching staff is better than anybody’s in the country.”

Game notes: Schlange replaced Logan Parsley at second after Parsley hurt his back on Thursday. Whittemore said Parsley was day-to-day and hoped he would be back in the lineup this Thursday. Schlange came up huge, going 2-for-2. “Schlange stepped in admirably, played well,” Whittemore said.