LAJUNTA, Colo. – The Western Nebraska Community College baseball team ran their win streak to three games after sweeping an Empire Conference doubleheader from Otero Junior College Sunday afternoon.
WNCC pounded out 17 hits in the opening game, including a seven-run fourth inning in posting the 12-7 win. The second game saw the Cougars receive home runs from Landon Urban and Austin Michaud in capturing the 6-3 win.
With the wins, the Cougars moves to third place with a 3-3 Empire Conference record, just a game out of first place. Northeastern Junior College leads with a 4-2 record followed by Trinidad at 2-1.
The first contest saw the Cougars open offensively in the third with two runs and then exploded for seven runs in the fourth for a 9-0 lead.
WNCC continued to shine offensively in the fourth. Isaac Taylor and Matt Maestas each had singles. Benson then reached on an error to load the bases. Ryan Grasser followed with a run-scoring single with Perez knocking in two with a single for a 5-0 lead. WNCC added four more runs on two hits for the 9-0 lead.
The Cougars added single runs in the fifth, sixth, and seventh inning. Maestas blasted a solo home run in the sixth for the 11-4 lead before Stuart Eurich singled home Michaud for the 12-7 lead.
WNCC's 17 hits was highlighted by the three-hit attack of Maestas, who went 3-for-four with a home run, two RBIs, and two runs scored. Perez, Achtermann, Michaud, and Ryan Grasser each tallied two hits. Perez and Achtermann each had two RBIs, while Grasser, Michaud, Perez, and Benson all had two runs scored.
Isaac Block tossed a good game, going 5 1/3 innings with a strike out, five hits and six runs. Montana Geisbrecht finished the game going 1 2/3 innings in allowing a run, two hits, and a strikeout.
The second game saw WNCC receive stellar pitching, defense, and timely hits to get the doubleheader sweep. WNCC and Otero each had eight hits in the contest, but it was WNCC's timely hitting that was crucial.
WNCC scored first with a four-spot in the second inning. The big hit in the frame was a 2-out, 3-run home run by Urban.
WNCC added single runs in the sixth and seventh, including a run-scoring double by Ryan Grasser in the sixth, and a lead-off home run by Michaud in the seventh.
Otero cut the lead to 5-3 in the sixth, but Beau Lofink came in and shut the door down in pitching 1 2/3 innings in registering the save. Lofink struck out two while allowing a run on two hits. Jose Monge picked up the win, going five innings in scattering five hits with four strikeouts.
Offensively, Michard and Morrison each had two hits. Michaud had a home run with a run scored and RBI, while Morrison had a double with a run scored and RBI. Urban finished with a home run and three RBIs from his lead-off spot.
WNCC will be back in action Tuesday when they begin their Spring Break trip in Arizona, taking on South Mountain Community College.
WNCC 002 711 1 – 12 17 3
Otero 000 403 0 – 7 7 0
WP – Isaac Block; 2B – Alex Achtermann; 3B – Austin Michaud; HR – Matt Maestas.
WNCC (6-12) 040 001 1 – 6 8 0
Otero (12-8) 000 003 0 – 3 8 2
WP – Jose Monge, S – Beau Lofink; 2B – Aaron Morrison, Maestas, Ryan Grasser; HR – Michaud, Landon Urban.