Western Nevada College's Wildcats baseball team is tied for first place in the Scenic West Athletic Conference after winning three of four games this weekend at College of Southern Idaho. The ‘cats are now 9-3 in the SWAC and 15-9 overall, tied with College of Southern Nevada (9-3, 17-11).
Coach DJ Whittemore said he was pleased with the wins. “We have a tremendous amount of respect for the long and storied tradition of Southern Idaho. The last three trips to Twin Falls during the conference season saw us drop 8 of 12 games, so you can really see how excited we are that we won three of four on the road."
This weekend WNC plays a four-game series at Salt Lake Community College.
Western got off to a great start on Friday, winning 6-4 and 9-8. Sophomore Travis Feiner was the Golden Eagles’ nemesis all day, going 3-for-3 in the first game with three RBI and one run scored. Lance Ray continued to be the long ball threat, hitting a two-run home run. Ray leads the conference in homers with six on the year. The other RBI came from freshman Daniel Zylstra. Jordan Lewis was the starting pitcher for the Wildcats and Kramer Champlin won the game in relief.
In the second game, the Golden Eagles threatened to break the game wide open with a five-run eighth inning, but freshman Rusty Devitt came on in relief to pitch out of a jam with a scoreless ninth and preserve the 9-8 win.
Kyle Starratt started for the Wildcats and pitched 5.2 innings. He was relieved by Jeff Barto who picked up the win in working two innings and giving up five runs on five hits. Offensively, Brian Barnett went 3-for-5 with five RBI, and Jay Skilton was perfect in three trips to the plate with two doubles and a triple. He scored three times, along with Mike Stiles.
Saturday, Western split a doubleheader, winning the opener 4-1 in 11 innings. The Golden Eagles took the second game, 6-5, in dramatic fashion as Tyler Chism of CSI smacked a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the seventh.
In the first game, Javy Perez was steady as he allowed four hits in five innings and one run. The game was tied at one apiece until the 11th when Brian Barnett hit a two-run double and later scored on a wild pitch. Jake Waardenburg picked up the game in relief, allowing one hit in three innings.
In the second game, freshman Andrew Garcia had a two-RBI single in the second and Lance Ray scored on a wild pitch in the third. Garcia scored again in the sixth on a bases-loaded walk, as did Zylstra in the fifth. Waardenburg took the loss, allowing two hits and two earned runs.
“Our guys are proving themselves to be warriors, having played seven consecutive weeks on the road without a single home game,” Whittemore said. “Our chemistry is good right now and the ability is there as well. We need to continue to play smarter and harder. And that is what we will work on this weekend!”