The Western Nebraska Community College baseball team split a doubleheader on Sunday at Cleveland Field against Miles Community College.
In the first-game of the double-dip, Miles scored seven times in the final two innings to register the 9-6 win. The second game saw Isaac Block, Nate Giefer and Beau Lofink combine in a strong pitching performance to pick up the 3-2 win.
WNCC coach Mike Jones said they got some good pitching performances in the second game.
"We had a really good pitching performance from Isaac Block in going five innings and only walking one batter," he said. "That was a huge performance from what he had done the previous weekend. That is what we had to do to succeed because we made the mistake in the first game by walking too many batters and making errors.
Giefer and Lofink also came in to mirror Block's five-inning pitching performance to shut down the Pioneers' bats.
"Nate comes in from the bullpen and throws the one inning and doesn't walk anybody and gets them one, two, three," Jones said. "Then Beau comes in and gets another save. Beau gets two saves for the weekend. He comes in and doesn't walk anybody goes right after their hitters and puts the pressure on them. It was a great performance from our pitching staff in the second game."
The Cougars, 3-5 on the season, took three of four from Miles over the weened.
"Getting the three wins will allow us to get some confidence going and build some momentum going into this weekend, where it will be a big weekend again," Jones said. "It is nice to stay in rhythm and continue to play. The weather has been beautiful for us. We just have to keep learning from our mistakes and at the same time continue to be aggressive and don't be afraid to make mistakes."
The second game saw Block get the win by striking out four in allowing two runs. But it was Giefer and Lofink that shut the door on the Pioneer bats. Giefer tossed the sixth with one strike out and then the former WESTCO standout pick up the save in striking out three in the seventh.
The Cougars did all the offensive damage they needed in one inning, plating three in the third. Ty Benson started the inning with a single and then stole second. Stuart Eurich followed with a single. With one out, Oscar Perez drove in one with a single and then Alex Achtermann doubled to score another for the 2-1 lead.
WNCC made it 3-1 as Perez advanced on a balk.
Miles made it 3-2 with a single run in the fourth as Tristan Shockley doubled and scored on an error.
After that, the Cougar defense stepped up as the two relief pitchers, Giefer and Lofink, had two 3-up and 3-down innings to close out the game.
WNCC had just five hits in the contest. Achtermann had the only extra base hit with a double.
The first game, the Cougars managed seven hits and were in control for the first five innings, holding a 6-2 lead. Miles came back with three runs in the sixth and four in the seventh to steal the win.
Jones said that his team gave Miles too many free bases in the final two innings.
"Offensively we played really well the first game," he said. "We were able to create a bunch of scoring opportunities and had really good at bats. Man did we play well offensively. We then just gave them so many free bases where we walked I think seven and made three errors and that equals 10 free base runners. Even though they hit singles, they were timely hits with guys on base. We just put ourselves in bad positions and couldn't overcome them."
Miles scored first in the opening game Sunday with two runs in the second. After that, the Cougars took charge, scoring single runs in the second and fifth and plating four in the third.
Jonathan Bermudez started the third with a double followed by Austin Michaud earning a four-pitch walk. Matt Maestas scored one with a ground out and then the bottom of the line-up came through as Landon Urban singled followed by a double by Brandon Bachar. Aaron Morrison then delivered a 2-run single to make it 5-2.
WNCC went up 6-2 in the fifth as Oscar Perez earned a base-loaded walk to score Maestas.
After that, the Cougars unraveled, giving up six hits, committing an error, and giving the Pioneers four free passes on base in the final two innings to get the win.
WNCC finished with 10 hits in the contest. Bermudez and Bachar led the way with two hits each, including a double from each hitter. Bachar also scored two runs and a stolen base. Morrison finished with two RBIs in the game.
Lincoln Trujillo started the game in going three innings in allowing two runs on four hits while striking out two. Montana Giesbrecht followed with three innings of work with four hits, three runs and striking out three, before Achtermann took the loss, tossing the seventh in allowing four runs on three hits and striking out one.
WNCC returns to action Friday when they have a doubleheader Empire Conference contest at Northeastern Junior College before taking on Barton Community College in a four-game set in Great Bend, Kansas.
Miles 020 003 4 – 9 11 3
WNCC 014 010 x – 6 10 2
WP – Ryan Absher, LP – Alex Achtermann; 2B – WNCC (Brandon Bachar, Jonathan Bermudez), Miles (TJ Booth, Cameron Guevara).
Miles 001 100 0 – 2 6 1
WNCC 003 000 x – 3 5 1
WP – Isaac Block, LP – Ian Empey; S – Beau Lofink; 2B – WNCC (Alex Achtermann), Miles (Tristan Shockley).