STERLING, Colo. – Dermot Fritsch hit two home runs including a grand slam to power the Western Nebraska Community College baseball team to a 10-8 Empire Conference win over Northeastern Junior College Wednesday afternoon in Sterling, Colorado.
WNCC couldn’t get the doubleheader sweep as NJC shut down the Cougar offense in recording a 3-2 second-game win.
WNCC moves to 7-15 on the year and 4-4 in Empire Conference action.
The first game was offensive with WNCC getting 10 hits, including three home runs in the win.
WNCC fell behind 1-0 in the first inning but took the lead with single runs in the second on a lead-off solo home run by Fritsch. WNCC took the lead in the third as Arnold Maltos-Garcia singled in Ty McAninch for a 2-1 lead.
NJC tied the game with a run in the fourth. That is when the offenses picked up. Both teams scored four runs in the fifth. WNCC’s four runs came off a 2-out grand slam from Fritsch for a 6-2 lead. NJC tied the game with four in the bottom of the fifth.
The Cougars added another four in the sixth on just one hit, a 2-out, 2-run home run by Maltos-Garcia.
NJC scored just two in the sixth and then WNCC’s Nate Kolb came in and picked up the save by striking out the lead-off and final batter.
Fritsch led the way with a 3-for-4 game with five RBIs, two runs scored, two home runs and a double. Maltos-Garcia finished with three hits with a home run, three RBIs, and two runs scored. McAninch finished with two hits with a run scored and RBI.
Devin DeBoer picked up the win in relieve of Kyler Harris. Harris went five innings in allowing six runs on eight hits while striking out two. DeBoer went one inning in allowing two hits, two runs and striking out one.
Nate Kolb picked up the save, tossing the seventh in allowing just one hit and striking out two.,
The second game saw WNCC out hit NJC 6-4, but the Plains men scored three times in the third to offset the two runs WNCC scored in the second for the win.
The Cougars were led at the plate by Brevin Owen with two hits and a run scored. McAninch had the only extra base hit in the game with a double.
Garrett DeClue suffered the loss on the mound, going 4 1/3 innings by allowing four hits, three runs, and striking out five. Chandler Young also saw action on the rubber, going 1 2/3 innings.
WNCC returns to action this weekend when they host Southeast Community College in three games in conference action. WNCC and Southeast will play two games on Saturday and one game on Sunday in the Cougars first home games of the season.
WNCC 011 044 0 – 10 9 4
NJC 100 142 0 – 8 11 2
WP – Devin DeBoer; S – Nate Kolb.