CARSON CITY – Western Nevada College began post-season play Thursday in the best way possible, with a win that took just seven innings and helped preserved the Wildcats pitching corps. WNC topped College of Eastern Utah 12-3 in round one of the double elimination tournament, achieving the shorter game with the eight-run lead rule. Now the Wildcats will face College of Southern Idaho in a 10 a.m. Friday semifinal matchup.
Head Coach DJ Whittemore said the victory sets WNC up well for the rest of the tournament, with the Wildcats finishing the game in fewer than nine innings and using only one pitcher, freshman David Carroll who went the distance and allowed only three hits. As the top seed, WNC drew a bye in Wednesday’s first round.
Western started Thursday’s game in a 3-0 hole as Carroll struck out his first two batters, then allowed three runs on a double by right-fielder Mitch Moore. But, said Whittemore, “he settled down,” and the freshman pitcher proceeded to shut down the Golden Eagles. The Wildcats tied the game 3-3 in the bottom of the first inning with a two-run double by third baseman Travis Feiner and an RBI single by centerfielder Mike Long.
Western added two runs in the third inning when designated hitter Jay Skilton’s single, coupled with an Eastern Utah fielding error brought Bryan Barnett and Travis Feiner home. But the fourth inning belonged to the Wildcats, who batted 11 players and scored five runs off three hits, highlighted by a three-run homer by Feiner, an RBI single by shortstop Daniel Zylstra, and a walk-in run with bases loaded.