CASPER, WY – In one of the most thrilling games of the season, the Western Nebraska Pioneers came out on top over the Casper Horseheads on Sunday night at Mike Lansing Field, winning 8-7 to clinch a three-game series sweep.
The Pioneers (40-15) both played in and won their first extra-inning game in team history, with Brandon Bohning’s ground-rule double in the top of the tenth that scored Lane Harvey making the different. With two outs and Harvey on second, Bohning hit a pop fly towards the Pioneers dugout that popped out of the glove of Horseheads (16-40) first baseman Braden Rogers. Four pitches later, Bohning hit the double that scored Harvey. Jeff Hakanson, who earned the win in relief, shut down the Horseheads in the bottom of the tenth to seal the win.
Casper took an early lead in the first off of Pioneers starter Evan Ingram, when Robert Cruz and Josh Overstreet had RBI singles to lead a rally. Ingram also allowed another RBI single to Overstreet in the third, which gave Casper an early 4-0 lead. Ingram allowed four earned runs on eight hits, two walks and four strikeouts over five innings in his spot start and took a no-decision.
The Pioneers were slow to get to Horseheads starter Jesse Carr, but started to battle in the middle innings. Two runs crossed in both the third and fourth innings to tie the game at four. In the top of the sixth, with two outs, Travis Turney hit a moonshot home run, his fifth of the season, that scored three runs and kicked Carr out of the game. He finished with a final line of seven earned runs on six walks and five hits over 5.2 innings, striking out three in the process.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Horseheads rallied right back against Pioneers relievers Teddy Broxterman and Isaiah Martinez to tie the game at seven. It remained scoreless until Bohning’s double in the tenth. Elijah Rodriguez pitched valiantly for the Horseheads, allowing just one unearned run on two hits and one walk over 4.1 innings, but took the tough-luck loss.
The Pioneers and Horseheads will play a doubleheader at Oregon Trail Park Stadium in Gering on Monday, with first pitch set for 5:00 PM MST of Game One. Game Two will follow 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game.