PHOENIX – The Western Nebraska Community College baseball team's offense was on fire for a second consecutive night, ripping 18 hits in posting a 14-11 win over GateWay Community College in the third day of the Cougars' Spring Break trip.
Oscar Perez had the hot bat against GateWay, finishing with a home run, triple and six RBIs to pace the Cougars to their eighth win of the season and their fifth win in the last seven games.
WNCC coach Mike Jones said his team is playing well offensively on this road swing.
"Right now, offensively, it is aggressively," Jones said. "We are pretty much going with two lineups so it is not one group, but two groups and 16 guys that have become solid offensively. And it is not just singles and walks, we are hitting doubles, triples, home runs, fighting with two strikes, and right now the guys are playing well."
Perez definitely was just one of many Cougars that swung a hot bat on the day as five other hitters had two hits. Isaac Taylor finished the game with three hits including two doubles and three runs scored, while Brandon Bachar had a double and triple with two RBIs and two runs scored.
Alex Achtermann had two singles with two runs scored, while Austin Michaud had a single, double and a RBI. Jack Pauley finished the game with three hits, including a triple, two runs scored and a RBI.
Jones said there is plenty of depth right know.
"Offensively there is definitely depth in this group," Jones said. "Their attitudes have been outstanding. The guys are always asking questions and they are learning from their at bats and they are helping each other."
GateWay scored first with two runs in the first, but the WNCC bats came alive by scoring runs in the seven of the next eight innings. WNCC plated five runs in the second including a 2-run triple by Perez.
WNCC added single runs in the third and fourth innings before scoring three in the fifth on Perez' 3-run home run to right field. The Cougars added two more sixth and single runs in the seventh and ninth frames.
Bradley Brown picked up the win, going six innings in allowing four runs and scattering six hits. Brown also struck out four. Ian Fisher, Stuart Eurich, and Montana Giesbrecht each tossed an inning. Geisbrecht struck out two in his mound work, while Eurich fanned one.
WNCC will face Mesa Community College Friday in a 9-inning game as Brian Kelley will get the nod on the mound. The Cougars are 2-1 on the Spring Break road trip in Arizona and Jones said they need to continue playing like they have.
"In order to get wins, we will have to keep fighting for our at bats," Jones said. We need to continue to drive in runs when we have guys in scoring position. We expect a good outing from Brian and we expect to improve defensively. We have made mistakes behind our pitching so hopefully some more innings we will continue to learn from our mistakes and continue to get better."
This team has made big improvements since s coming around since opening the season 0-4 and going through a seven-game losing skid at the end of February.
"They really have come around and we have faced quality pitching," Jones said. "There is a lot of confidence going on within our group right now. We have made a lot of strides over the past few weeks."
WNCC (8-13) 051 132 101 – 14 18 3
GateWay 202 000 232 – 11 13 1
WP – Bradley Brown; 2B – Austin Michaud, Brandon Bachar, Isaac Taylor; 3B – Oscar Perez, Bachar, Jack Pauley; HR – Perez.