GERING, NE – The Western Nebraska Pioneers were pummeled by the Pierre Trappers in Tuesday’s series finale at Oregon Trail Park Stadium, falling 16-4 in front of a spacious crowd in Gering.
The Pioneers (19-10) still collect a series victory, but were behind from the start and never battled back. It was a very rare off day from Chet Jones, who allowed more earned runs (eight) in his 4.1 innings of work than he had in each of his first four starts this summer. The Pioneer bullpen was solid with only four earned runs behind him (three unearned), but offensively, the Pioneers were unable to weather the storm.
Pierre (12-16) starter Jackson Back was much more successful in his second time facing off against the Pioneers, allowing just two runs on eight hits and walk one, while striking out four over seven innings of work. His offense backed him up early, as Zane Phelps deposited the first of four Trapper home runs in the top of the first inning and never looked back. On the day, the Trappers added eight extra-base hits, including four home runs. Phelps led the way with six runs batted in.
The Pioneers had a quiet night offensively despite 11 hits. Two of the team’s four runs crossed in the bottom of the ninth inning when the game was well out of reach. Andrew Bates had two doubles and drove in two runs, while Nolan Metcalf had a 4-for-4 day and Travis Turney reached base three times.
The loss was the Pioneers’ seventh in which they allowed eight or more runs. Still holding a 6.5 game lead on the Clark Division, Western Nebraska will look to get back on track on Wednesday night against Hastings. Brandon Morse is scheduled to start for the Pioneers, with first pitch at Oregon Trail Park Stadium set for 6:35 PM MST.