GERING, NE – The Western Nebraska Pioneers split a doubleheader with the Casper Horseheads on Monday at Oregon Trail Park Stadium, claiming a 9-2 victory in game one before falling, 6-2, in game two.
The Pioneers (41-16) got off to a strong start in both games, jumping out to a 3-0 lead after an inning in game one, and a 2-0 lead in game two after the same length of time. Unfortunately, both games went in different directions from there. Cal Beardsley was on point against Casper (17-41) in his game one outing, allowing just two earned runs over 5.2 innings of work while striking our four. Offensively, the Pioneers were sharp in game one, using two homers from Jack Pauley and the benefit of several Casper errors to push nine runs across in the first four innings. That would prove all that was necessary in the victory.
Game two was less successful offensively. The Pioneers managed their two first inning runs off of zero hits, as Horseheads starter Josh Overstreet labored through three walks in the first frame. Overstreet settled in from there, allowing just three hits and no more runs over six innings of work, walking seven and striking out six.
Despite ample opportunities, the Pioneers only left seven men on base in a game that did not go their way offensively. Lots of hard hit balls failed to find green grass, while Casper poked across soft hit after soft hit against Pioneers right-hander Jeremiah Mauch. Much allowed five earned runs on eight hits, six strikeouts and three walks over 6.1 innings of work to take his first loss as a Pioneer.
The two teams will be back in action on Tuesday night at 6:35 PM for the third game of the series. The Pioneers have not announced a starter yet for the game.