MILES CITY, Mont. – Brian Kelley struck out 10 and tossed a 2-hitter in helping the Western Nebraska Community College baseball team earn a split over Miles Community College in Empire Conference action Saturday in Miles City, Montana, with the 9-1 win in game two.
The Cougars and Pioneers got the split on the day after Miles scored five, third-inning runs to earn a tight 7-6 win in game one.
The six-game series was moved to Miles City, Mont., after the playing conditions at Cleveland Field were unplayable because of the weather. The games were originally moved to Lamar, Colorado, but Lamar received plenty of rain on Thursday forcing the games to be moved to Miles City.
The split keeps both WNCC and Miles in playoff contention. Miles is third in the conference at 12-14 followed right behind by WNCC (12-16) and Northeastern Junior College (13-17)
Both teams will have doubleheaders Sunday and Monday in Miles City.
The second game was a gem of a contest by Kelley. Kelley faced just 29 batters in the win while fanning 10 and walking two. Kelley had a no-hitter heading into the fifth before Miles recorded its first hit of the game. Kelley, however, came back and struck out side in the fifth.
Offensively, WNCC pounded out 11 hits, 10 of which were singles. The only extra base hit was a sixth-inning 2-run home run by Oscar Perez for the 9-1 lead.
Miles scored first with a single run in the first before WNCC tied it at 1-1 with a run in the second. The Cougars started to take control with two in the fourth and fifth and then four runs in the sixth for the win.
The first game was a back and forth contest with the two teams combining for 13 runs and 24 hits WNCC struck first with a run in the first only to watch the Pioneers charge onward with two in the second and five in the third for a 7-1 lead.
WNCC fought back scoring three in the fourth and single runs in the fifth and seventh to come up just short.
Austin Michaud had the big game in the defeat, smacking a double and a home run with two RBIs and a run scored. Alex Achtermann also had two hits with a double, two runs scored, and two stolen bases.
Matt Maestas led the way with three hits in the game – all singles. Maestas had a run scored and a RBI.
Bradley Brown started and took the loss in giving up seven runs. Lincoln Truilo came in relief and pitched five strong innings in striking out one and scattering four with walking a batter.
Miles City 025 000 0 – 7 13 1
WNCC 100 310 1 – 6 11 0
LP – Bradley Brown; 2B – Austin Michaud, Alex Achtermann; HR – Austin Michaud.
Miles City 100 000 0 – 1 2 0
WNCC 010 224 x – 9 11 3
WP – Brian Kelley; HR – Oscar Perez.