TRINIDAD, Colo. – The Western Nebraska Community College baseball split a doubleheader with Trinidad State Junior College on Sunday in Empire Conference action.
The Cougars won the 3-game series against the Trojans 2-1. After taking game one 16-3 on Saturday, the Cougars fell 4-2 in the first game on Sunday setting up the rubber game. The second game saw the Cougars saw the Cougars score five times in the second inning and never looked back to the 8-4 win.
The win moves the Cougars to third place in the Empire Conference at 4-4 and tied with Southeast Community College. WNCC is 5-12 overall. McCook leads the conference with a 6-3 record followed by Northeastern at 5-3.
WNCC was in line to earn the 3-game sweep over Trinidad, but the Trojans had other ideas as they scored two sixth-inning runs to claim the first-game win.
The game had early runs and then nothing with great pitching. WNCC starter Chandler Young went five strong innings before being lifted in the sixth after giving up four runs on five hits while striking out four. Jerson Morales finished the game with an inning pitched and allowing just one hit.
WNCC did have plenty of hits in the game but couldn’t get the right hit to score runs. WNCC outhit Trinidad 9-6 with single runs in the first and fourth innings.
WNCC scored the first run of the game in the first when Joey Orozco had a 2-out single. Michael Felton followed with a walk. Ty McAninch then scored the first run with a single for the 1-0 lead.
Trinidad came back and scored two in the bottom of the first. WNCC tied the game in the fourth with one run. Joe Kinneberg doubled and scored on a Hunter Nelson single. Ethan “Q” Nelson followed with a single, but the inning was halted after a double play.
It stayed tied until the sixth when Trinidad plated two runs with a inning-leading home run followed by another run with two outs.
WNCC put together a rally in the seventh with two outs. Felton started things with a walk and then McAninch doubled. With runners in scoring position, WNCC couldn’t get a hit to tie the game.
Orozco led the way with a 3 for 4 game with a run scored. McAninch and Nelson each had two hits with a double.
The second game saw the Cougars receive strong pitching and timely hitting in earning the 8-4 win where the Cougars finished with 10 hits.
Trinidad struck first with a run in the first, but WNCC answered with five runs in the second on five hits. Luis Alcantara led off by drawing a walk followed by a single by Miller. Hunter Nelson scored the first run with a sacrifice fly.
Coats followed with a run-scoring single. Joey Olson then had a double to score another run. Miller scored a run with a single. John Betsch scored two with a single to make it 5-1.
Trinidad scored one in the bottom of the second, but WNCC answered with a single run in the third with Coats getting a solo home run.
The Trojans added single runs in the fourth and fifth to cut the deficit to 6-4. WNCC added two insurance runs in the seventh as Nelson scored one run with a run-scoring single and then Coats plated a run with a double.
Coats had the hot bat for the Cougars, going 3 of 4 with a double, home run, two RBIs, and two runs scored.
Betsch also had two RBIs with his hit. Olson had the only other extra base hit in the game with a double.
Corbin Kirk picked up the win on the mound, going three innings in allowing two runs and three hits while striking out three. Trent Richter and Morales each finished off the game. Richter went 1 1/3 innings in allowing two runs while Morales went 2 2/3 innings in allowing just two hits and striking out four.
WNCC will now head to Arizona for a series of games during Spring Break. The Cougars will battle South Mountain Community College on Tuesday and Wednesday.
WNCC 100 100 0 – 2 9 2
Trinidad 200 002 x – 4 6 2
LP – Chandler Young.
2B – Joe Kinneberg, Ty McAninch, Hunter Nelson.
WNCC 051 000 2 – 8 10 2
Trinidad 110 110 0 – 4 5 0
WP – Corbin Kirk.
2B – Caleb Coats, Joey Olson.
HR – Caleb Coats.