Cougars baseball splits conference games with McCook
     2016-04-22      By Media Report    editor@geringcitizen.com
Courtesy photo WNCC’s Right-hander sophomore Jose Monge ends up the losing pitcher in Game 1 against Trinidad last week. The Cougars, after allowing nine runs in the first inning, struggled to make up ground, eventually losing the doubleheader. 
SCOTTSBLUFF — The Western Nebraska Community College baseball team couldn’t get the hits they needed in the second game against McCook Community College, thus splitting an Empire Conference doubleheader Wednesday at Cleveland Field.

In the first game, Jack Pauley scored on a wild pitch in the eighth inning for the 6-5 win. In the second game, WNCC outhit McCook 6-4, as the Indians registered the 3-1 win.

“We pitched really well today. We competed real hard,” Head Coach Mike Jones said. “We are making progress with pitching and defense. We just had a few poor at bats at crucial times in the game, but overall we still played well.”

Still, the Cougars sit in fourth place with an 11-11 conference record and are 17-25 overall. McCook is 10-14 and fifth place in conference.

WNCC will take on Lamar Community College in a crucial four-game series this weekend on the road. Lamar defeated Otero Wednesday, 3-2 in 11 innings. Lamar is in second at 18-9 and winners of their last six games.

“We are right there for a playoff spot,” Jones said. “It is important for our guys to continue to fight every inning of every game.”

WNCC finished the doubleheader with a combined 13 hits and just two extra base hits. McCook also had 13 hits in the contest.

After McCook plated four runs in the fifth for a 4-0 lead, the Cougars didn’t lay down. Instead, the bats came alive scoring four runs on four hits.

The fifth-inning all started with Pauley getting plunked with a pitch. Matt Maestas followed with a single before Brandon Bachar singled in the first run. Isaac Block flowed with a run-scoring double before Ryan Grasser had a run-scoring single to cut the deficit to 4-3. Oscar Perez scored the tying run with a sacrifice fly.

Both teams added a single run in the seventh. McCook scored the go-ahead run with two outs. WNCC came right back. Bachar led off with a single. Pinch-hitter Garret Smith followed with a single that scored Bachar with the tying run sending the game into extra innings.

Beau Lofink came in and shut down the McCook bats in the eighth.
At bat, Pauley started the rally with a one-out double. After moving to third on a ground out, Pauley scored the winning run on a wild pitch.

WNCC managed just seven hits in the game, led by the 2-hit attack from Bachar.

Lofink earned the win on the mound, tossing two innings in striking out two, allowing a run and scattering four hits.

WNCC out hit McCook 6-4, but left five runners on base.

Brian Kelley went the distance in allowing just four hits with no walks and striking out six.

McCook scored twice in the fourth and once in the sixth for a 3-0 lead. WNCC started a comeback in the seventh. Landon Urban started the inning with a single and stroked on a Grasser groundout. That was the only run the Cougars could muster in the game.

Landon Urban led WNCC at the plate with three of the team’s six hits. Only Perez, Pauley, and Grasser recorded a hit after that.

First Game

McCook 000 040 10 – 5 9 0

WNCC 000 040 11 – 6 7 1

WP – Beau Lofink; 2B – Isaac Block, Jack Pauley.

Second Game

McCook 000 201 0 – 3 4 0

WNCC 000 000 1 – 1 6 1

LP – Brian Kelley.

Media release

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