Woeck-led WNC sweeps Colorado Northwestern | NevadaAppeal.com

Woeck-led WNC sweeps Colorado Northwestern

Andrew Woeck went to bed Thursday night thinking he could no-hit visiting Colorado Northwestern.

He came oh so close.

Woeck yielded only a sixth-inning single to Jose Vargas and struck out 11 en route to a 1-hit shutout to lead Western Nevada College to a 1-0 win over the cellar-dwelling Spartans Friday at John L. Harvey Field in the opening game of a Scenic West Athletic Conference doubleheader.

It was the second straight 1-hit shutout in as many games for a Wildcat pitcher. Last Saturday against Salt Lake, Dylan Baker stopped the Bruins, also by a 1-0 score.

The Wildcats completed the sweep with five different pitchers combining to pitch a 6-hitter with 14 strikeouts in a 5-1 win.

“Our pitching was outstanding,” WNC head coach D.J. Whittemore said after WNC improved to 17-4 in conference play. “Andrew Woeck set the tone for the whole day.”

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And Woeck needed to be outstanding, because the WNC offense was non-existent most of the day against Chris Schmalz, who pitched a 3-hitter in a losing effort.

Woeck, who threw 89 pitches, had outstanding control of his breaking pitches. He was in the high 80s with his fastball, touching 89 once and hitting 88 several times.

“I felt good,” said Woeck, who is headed to North Carolina State in the fall. “Oh yeah, I knew I had a no-hitter going. I knew I had a shot at it (coming in). I left a fastball down the middle and he (Vargas) put good wood on it.

“My slider, curve and change were all working for me. I think I had the best stuff I’ve had all year. We were hitting the ball hard. I knew if we could get one run it would be enough.”

Catcher Neil Lawhorn said that Colorado Northwestern tries to be aggressive early in the count, and that Woeck threw a lot of off-speed pitches on the first pitch which made his fastball even more effective.

“His slider had a lot of depth,” Whittemore said. “He had good zip on his fastball the first three innings and he was ahead in the count.”

Woeck retired the first 13 batters he faced, eight on strikeout. He allowed a walk in the fourth, but escape unscathed.

Schmalz, however, was equally good. He had a no-hitter through three, but lost that and the shutout in the fourth.

Dillon Ness singled, stole second and went to third when Scmalz’s pick-off throw went into centerfield. After catcher Joey Liuzza dropped a pop-up, Zach Hendrix walked and reached second on the aforementioned pick-off attempt. Alex Schmidt followed with a sacrifice fly driving in the game’s only run.

Vargas’ drive to break up the no-hitter went off the fence. Vargas however injured himself going around first and was held to a single. He got to second on an infield out, but was stranded there.

In the sixth, Bobby Pappin was stranded at third after a one-out triple.

In the second game, the Wildcats scored all the runs they would need in the first inning against Taylor Watters.

Taylor Smart doubled off the fence in left-centerfield, moved to third on a single by Dillon Ness and scored on a single to left by Zach Hendrix. Ness scored on Mike Umscheid’s fielder’s choice. The third run scored on an error.

Dylan Baker started and threw two innings, striking out five and walking one. He picked up the win because his start was predetermined, and he was the most effective of the five pitchers.

Tyler Spencer worked three, allowing three hits and striking out four. Brandon Show followed with two hitless innings. Austin Richmond allowed a run and three hit in the sixth, enabling Colorado Northwestern to cut the lead to 4-1.

WNC closed out the scoring in the sixth on Bobby Gazzola’s run-scoring double.

Evan Parker came on in the ninth and walked the first two batters he faced. He got the next hitter to hit into a double play and then struck out the next batter to end the game.

“We went by committee because its halfway through the season and we wanted to give guys a break before going into the second half of the season,” WNC pitching coach Jeremy Beard said. “Also, it helps get our bullpen built up. They are going to have to pitch big innings down the stretch.”

NOTES: The series continues today at noon. Derrick Pitts and Brandon Jackson are the scheduled starters. First pitch is at noon … Whittemore said he is trying to rest both Matt Robertson and Anthony Consiglio this weekend … The WNC coach hopes for better offense today. The Wildcats managed just 13 hits in two games and didn’t hit well with two outs.