The Western Nebraska Community College baseball team opened the offense and rolled to a 13-4 win over Trinidad State Junior College Saturday afternoon at Cleveland Field in Empire Conference action.
WNCC took all three games from Trinidad State over the weekend.
The win was the Cougars sixth straight win and moves WNCC to 17-21 overall but more importantly to 14-10 in conference play and moved into first place with just 10 losses. Trinidad State and Lamar Community College each have 11 losses, while Northeastern Junior College sits at 16-12.
WNCC coach Mike Jones said his team played well today, especially at the plate with plenty of quality at bats.
“Offensively I thought we did an excellent job of hitting some of the off-speed stuff today,” Jones said. “in situations when we had guys in scoring position, we jumped some first-pitch fastballs. Once we got the lead, I thought the pitching staff and the defense did an excellent job behind them.”
WNCC captured its second straight 3-game series sweep after topping McCook two weeks ago. Jones said this team is starting to come around, but they need to continue winning to stay aloft of the standings.
“Right now, the way we are playing, we look really good,” Jones said. “We will have to continue to stay within ourselves and not do too much, understand what makes us successful and continue to look for the next ball game.”
WNCC opened the game with an 8-run third inning. It was that third inning that saw the Cougars quality at bats sparkle. WNCC had eight hits in the inning with just one double. The other hits were al singles.
“We had some really good at bats in that inning,” Jones said. “All game we had guys hit really good with two strikes. This team continues to learn. They ask a lot of questions about pitch selection and how pitchers will attack. We are learning a lot at this point of the season.”
The third inning started with Dermot Fritsch and Brevin Owen recorded singles. Luis Alcantara, who had the winning hit on Friday in a 5-4-win, singled home Fritsch. Arnoldo Maltos-Garcia and Harrison Yates followed with run-scoring singles before Michael Felton scored one on a double for a 6-0 lead.
Fritsch batted a second time in the frame and delivered a 2-out single to score two runs. Owens followed with another single to score another run for the 9-0 lead.
Trinidad cut the lead to 9-3 with three in the fifth, but WNCC answered back with two of their own in the frame. Ty McAninch led off with a double followed by a single by Osborne. Owen came through with a double to score two for the 11-3 lead.
WNCC finished off the game via the 8-run rule after seven innings. Osborne led off the seventh with a single and then Fritsch ended the game with a walk-off 2-run home run for the winner.
WNCC finished with 18 hits in the contest. Owen led the way with a 4-hit attack, including a double, run scored, and three RBIs. Osborne and Fritsch each had three hits, while McAninch, Yates, and Felton each had two.
Osborne had a double with three runs scored and a RBI, while Fritsch had a home runs with two runs scored and four RBIs.
Hunter Parker picked up the win on the mound, going five innings in allowing four hits, three runs, and striking out four. Chandler Young tossed two innings, allowing three hits, a run, and striking out two.
WNCC will be back in action Wednesday when they travel to Sterling, Colorado, to face Northeastern Junior College in a doubleheader. The Cougars will then host Southeast Community College next weekend in a 3-game series.
“Our pitching staff is well rested,” Jones said. “It will be important for us to come out and put together good at bats once again.”
Trinidad 000 030 1 – 4 7 1
WNCC 108 020 2 – 13 18 2
WP – Hunter Parker.
2B – Brevin Owen, Ty McAninch, Michael Felton, Mitch Osborne.
HR – Dermot Fritsch.