GERING, NE – The Western Nebraska Pioneers saw their nine-game winning streak come to an abrupt halt on Saturday night with a 22-3 blowout loss at the hands of the Hub City Hotshots.
As the scoreline would indicate, nothing went right for the Pioneers (10-5) on Saturday, as they fell behind Hub City (4-11) early and never crawled out of the massive hole that they dug for themselves. Jonny Petsch simply did not have his best stuff, and was hit early and often. The Hotshots poured on nine runs in the top of the second inning – all coming with two outs – and batted around twice in the first four frames. Petsch and reliever Matt Declambre combined to allow 19 runs (16 earned) on ten hits and seven walks over just 3.2 innings pitched.
Teddy Broxterman was very solid in long relief, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits and two walks with 7 strikeouts over 4.1 innings, but the damage was done early and the Hotshots did not need much else in the later frames. Hub City starter Zach Smith threw four shutout innings with six strikeouts, but was relieved early, and the Hotshots went with four different relievers out of the bullpen. Three had scoreless appearances (including Jordan Rodriguez, who tossed two shutout innings to earn the win), but Jesse Spangler – who started the game in center field – gave up a bases-clearing double in the bottom of the ninth to Hobbs Nyberg that prevented the Pioneers from being shut out for the first time.
Anderson Shelley was one of many offensive stars for the Hotshots, who pushed across 20 or more runs for the second time in four nights. Shelley had 3 hits, including two doubles, and scored twice. Joe Guidry scored four runs and drove in three, and Anthony Guzman scored four runs, hit a homer and drove in two.
The Pioneers will look to avoid dropping the weekend series to the Hotshots in Sunday’s rubber match. Conner Deeds will make his final start of the summer for the Pioneers. First pitch is set for 5:35 PM MST.