WNCC baseball sweeps Otero
     2016-03-25      By Media Report    editor@geringcitizen.com
The Western Nebraska Community College baseball team received sterling pitching performances from Bradley Brown and Brian Kelley in posting a doubleheader sweep of Otero Junior College in Empire Conference action Sunday afternoon at Cleveland Field.

Brown struck out seven in game one while the offense ripped 16 hits in the 9-2 win. The second game saw Kelley strike out 10 in six innings of work to help the Cougars claim the 11-2 win.

The win moves the Cougars to 11-15 overall and into a tie for second place in conference action with Northeastern Junior College. Both teams are at 5-3 in conference play and just a half game behind conference leader Trinidad State Junior College.

Kelley, who allowed just two hits in his appearance on the mound, said the team played well with strong pitching, something they have lacked. “We played good today and the pitching really came through for us because we were really struggling with that,” he said. “We have been working hard as a pitching staff and it went good for us. We then kept hitting like we always do.”

The pitching definitely was what carried the Cougars as they limited the Otero offense to just three hits in each game.

“Bradley threw a good game,” Kelley said. “And I was out there to give my offense a chance to win.”

The offense did come through, pounding out 30 hits in the two games. More importantly, the hits came when they needed them.

“We have been hot as an offense. It’s tough to beat us in an offensive battle,” Kelley said.

Both games, however, were close in the opening innings. In game one, Otero jumped in front, taking a 2-0 lead after two innings. WNCC came back with four in the third and five in the fourth for a 9-2 lead.
The third inning was highlighted by a two-run single by Alex Achtermann before Brandon Bachar finished off the frame with a run-scoring double.

WNCC’s offense was even sharper in the fourth with five hits. WNCC loaded the bases to start the frame followed by a run-scoring single by Austin Michard. Jack Pauley then lifted a sacrifice fly for another run before Matt Maestas and Isaac Block had back-to-back run-scoring doubles.

WNCC hammered out 16 hits, led by the 3-hit attack by Perez, Achtermann, and Pauley. Achtermann finished with two RBIs and two runs scored, whole Perez had two runs scored and three stolen bases. Pauley had two RBIs.

Bachar and Maestas each finished with two hits, including a double. Isaac Block also had a double with two RBIs. Brown was sensational in the circle, allowing just three hits and two early runs. Jose Monge pitched the seventh. The second game saw the Cougars take a 2-0 lead only to watch the Rattlers come back to tie the game at 2-2 with a couple runs in the fourth. WNCC came back in the sixth and put the game away with nine runs on seven hits.

Stuart Eurich led off with a double followed by singles by Ryan Glasser and Oscar Perez. Michaud followed with a 2-run double and then Pauley had a run-scoring single. Bachar later came through with a run-scoring triple followed by a Eurich’s second double of the inning to score another run. Ty Benson finished off the scoring with a run-scoring single.

Eurich, Aaron Morrison, and Jonathan Bermudez each had two hits to lead the Cougar’s 14-hit attack. Eurich had two doubles with two runs scored and an RBI. Morrison had a run scored and an RBI, while Bermudez had a run scored. Michaud had a double with three RBIs, while Pauley had two RBIs. Kelley picked up the win on the mound, facing 24 batters in six innings. Beau Lofink finished off the game with a scoreless seventh.

The Cougars will be back in action March 25-26 when they host McCook Community College in Empire Conference doubleheaders.

Kelley said these games are crucial in the team’s goal to host the Region IX tournament.

“Our goal is to host the tournament this year,” he said. “As a team we know what our goal is and we are working as hard as we can to get there.”

First Game

Otero 110 000 0 – 2 3 0

WNCC 004 500 x – 9 16 2

WP – Bradley Brown; 2B – Brandon Bachar, Isaac Block, Matt Maestas.

Second Game

Otero 000 200 0 – 2 3 3

WNCC 101 009 x – 11 14 0

WP - -Brian Kelley; 2B – Austin Michaud, Stuart Eurich 2; 3B – Bachar.

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