MILES CITY, Mont. – The Western Nebraska Community College outhit Miles Community College in both games on Friday, but the Pioneers registered two victories in the Empire Conference doubleheader.
In the opener, Alex Oehme tossed a 3-hitter but the Pioneers earned the 2-0 win.
The second game saw Miles jump out to an 8-0 lead before WNCC plated eight runs, but it wasn’t enough as the Pioneers earned the 13-8 victory.
The 6-game series could decide the fourth team for the Region IX tournament. Miles moves to 14-18 in the conference while WNCC drops 12-20. Otero topped Lamar earlier in the week and are 15-21.
WNCC needs to win three of the last four to earn a 3-way tie with Otero and Miles, or win four straight to earn the fourth spot outright.
Friday’s first game was a pitcher’s duel between Oehme and Parker McRae. Oehme struck out seven and allowed just three hits in the complete game, while McRae earned the win, allowing five hits and striking out five.
Miles scored runs in the first and sixth inning to pick up the opening-series win. WNCC managed just five hits in the contest, all singles. Tyler Shubert had two hits, while Esai Hernandez, Harrison Yates, and Brandan Maher each had one.
Game two was the opposite of the opener with the teams combining for 21 runs and 23 hits. Miles was the offensive demon first, plating eight runs in five innings in holding an 8-0 lead.
WNCC started to awaken at the plate, scoring six times in the sixth to slice the lead to 8-6. The inning started with three straight singles by Brandan Maher, Jonathan Bermudez, and Tyler Olson to load the bases. Tommy McRill comes through with a single to score one run followed by Brevin Owen waling to plate another run.
Yates finishes off the scoring in the sixth when he leaves the yard with a grand slam.
Miles came right back and plates five runs in the bottom of the sixth for a 13-6 lead.
The Cougars kept battling, scoring twice in the seventh on run-scoring singles by Shubert and Yates, but that was as close as they could get.
WNCC finished with 12 hits in the contest. Yates, Tyler Olson, Mitch Lightbody, and Jonathan Bermudez all had two hits in the defeat. Yates had the only extra base hit with a home run and five RBIs. Olson scored two runs.
Zach Berg was saddled with the loss. Berg gave up eight hits and eight runs while striking out four in 4 1/3 innings. Nat Andresen and Wellington Mariano also saw action in the game. Mariano allowed five runs on three hits, while Andresen struck out two.
The two squads will be back in action for doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday.
WNCC 000 000 0 – 0 5 1
Miles 100 001 x – 2 3 0
LP – Alex Oehme
WNCC 000 006 2 – 8 12 4
Miles 230 035 x – 13 11 0
LP – Zach Berg
HR – Harrison Yates